Prison Guard

Prison guards supervise individuals that have been convicted of crimes and are serving sentences behind bars. They maintain the security of the prison by making sure all locks are in working order by searching prisoners’ cells to make sure they are not hiding contraband such as drugs or weapons and by carefully checking all the people that visit the inmates. Prison guards ensure security in the prison and suppress any acts of violence that may erupt. Prison guards maintain a position of authority but also they must have positive working relationships with the inmates encouraging them to engage in rehabilitative activities while they are incarcerated. Prison guards work indoors and outdoors and they may have to work evening and weekend shifts. They must be physically fit have sharp vision and hearing and be able to make quick judgments and take fast action to prevent any violence that may occur. The website www.job-hunt.org says that prison guards need a high school diploma or the equivalent but many local and state corrections agencies require some college credits and a bachelor’s degree is advantageous. Newly-hired prison guards undergo extensive on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced prison guards. This training must follow the guidelines of the American Jail Association or the American Correctional Association. Prison guards must be at least 21 years of age and be U.S. citizens. Furthermore they must pass a background check and submit to tests that clear them of any substance abuse. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual salary for all prison guards is approximately $34000. However guards in federal prisons earned an average of $44200 and those in State facilities earned an average of $33750.

Education Required: High School Diploma & Specialized Training
Avg Salary: $38975
High Salary: $44200
Low Salary: $33750
Tasks: Performs security checks.
Supervises prisoners.
Escorts prisoners from one location to another.
Patrols the prison to ensure it is safe and secure.
Also Called: Correctional Officer
Prison Security Guard
Prison Officer
Prison Warden
Additional Resources: http://www.job-hunt.org/careers/prison-guards.shtml
http://ww2.prospects.ac.uk/p/types_of_job/prison_officer_job_description.jsp
http://education-portal.com/articles/Prison_Guard%3A_Educational_Requirements_to_be_a_Prison_Guard_or_Corrections_Officer.html