Correctional counselors play an integral role in the prison system in the United States. Their job is to keep careful watch over prison inmates and develop an understanding of each individual. They meet with inmates when they are first incarcerated and make an effort to learn about their personal and religious backgrounds their employment and health history and their general demeanor. They then work with inmates to implement rehabilitation programs that suit the particular needs and skills of each one while they are in prison.
Correctional counselors continue to follow up when inmates are released on parole to make sure they are reintegrated into society and are not tempted to commit any further offenses. Some correctional counselors actually work in prisons but others work for parole agencies or in probation offices.
According to the website Ehow.com not all prisons require corrections counselors to have a formal degree but focus more their prior experience. However the website Criminaljusticeprograms.com says that most employers require a bachelor's degree in criminal justice social work or psychology.
A master's degree in one of these fields can potentially open up even more job opportunities. With regard to other qualifications correctional counselors must be extremely patient and motivated to help inmates better their lives after their prison terms are over. At the same time however they must maintain a professional relationship with their clients. Correctional counselors get on-the-job training for approximately a year before they are permitted to work independently. Job prospects for correctional career counselor are positive.
According to the website Payscale.com salaries can range from approximately $26000 to as high as $68000.