Corrections Classification Officer: Job Description, Duties and Salary
A corrections classification officer places prison inmates in the appropriate level of custody based on intake interviews and evaluation. This occupation combines social science and corrections knowledge to maintain the safety of inmates and staff at correctional facilities and detention centers.
Job Description of a Corrections Classification Officer
When an inmate is taken into custody and moved to a receiving or processing center, a corrections classification officer evaluates the level of incarceration that will best accommodate that inmate, with the goal of placing him or her in the least restrictive environment. The corrections classification officer meets with inmates to gather relevant information and reviews his or her case file to determine the offender's housing and treatment needs. Additionally, the corrections classification officer helps the inmate adjust to incarceration by answering questions and setting up referrals for psychological or social services. A classification officer applies knowledge of prison or jail regulations, human behavior, social sciences and criminal justice in placing inmates.
Corrections classification officers assess inmates using psychological tests and questionnaires to evaluate the offender's mental state and risk level. They also interview newly incarcerated inmates to gather information about their work experience, education, social status, family background, health history and any current physical or mental impairment. Classification officers review criminal history, current charges and case files to assess risk to the public, other inmates and correctional facility staff.
The corrections classification officer recommends appropriate work detail, rehabilitation programs, activities, social services and psychological treatments required by the inmate. In conjunction with corrections staff, the classification officer maintains inmate records regarding behavior. He or she reviews reclassification requests and makes further recommendations based on the inmate's progress, job performance, health and compliance with facility regulations.
In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average yearly wages of $43,550 for correctional officers and jailers (www.bls.gov). Median annual earnings in the profession were $39,040, the BLS said.
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