Well, the simple answer is yes, you should be concerned. Let me caveat that statement with this, you probably should be concerned if you have a reason to be concerned.
The majority of people in America do have at least one or two things in their history that might throw up a red flag if it were to be discovered during the process of a background investigation, but is that one thing enough to ruin your chances of being a correctional officer?
Maybe, maybe not, it really depends on what your issue is, how much time has passed since it occurred, and what steps you have taken since it occurred to correct it or make it right.
Odds are better in your favor if you have a single issue, and you take care of it quickly and haven’t had similar issues since than if you had an issue and it reoccurs every 6 months.
Most departments a very specific as to the details in which you would be disqualified from consideration during the hiring process, most include issues with DWI’s, domestic violence, and financial issues. For a more detail list, check with your local department agency.
Another area of concern that most prospective correctional officer might have is the area of past or current drug use. Now I’m not here to judge or to tell you how to live your life, and in most states like Washington, California and Colorado it is increasingly more available and the laws more lax, but in terms of being hired as a correctional officer, you should probably put that part of your life on hiatus.
Past drug use can easily be explained away that you did in the past but you haven’t since a particular date, and you should do fine with that, but whatever you do, don’t give false information in relation to your background check.
If you have recently ended your use of drugs, and by “drugs” I’m basically talking about marijuana, then you might want to do a detox, taking some of the common supplements to clean out your system like Goldenseal, Niacin and Zinc. I give these examples not for help you “beat-the-system”, but just to assist you in getting yourself right after making a clear decision to stop doing some things and turn your life in another direction.
Lastly, in relation to drugs, if you have ever sold or distributed drugs at any time in your life, it is considered a disqualifying issue in most areas.
For financial issues, you should not be burdened with large amounts of unpaid, past-due, delinquent debt. If you feel like this might apply to you, then do a self-assessment of your current financial status and determine what accounts need immediate attention, develop a plan, and stick to the plan.
Just keep in mind that if you have really old debts that if you contact these companies then you might be reopening old wounds and making the situation worst. We will cover the area of credit and financials in a separate post.
Overall, you don’t need to spend too much time worrying about upcoming background checks to become a correctional officer. Just be aware of your issues and take the necessary steps to correct them and everything should work out in your favor.