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Should You Be Concerned About Passing a Background Check for Correctional Officer Jobs?

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.

Drug Use

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.

Financial Issues

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.

5 Responses to Should You Be Concerned About Passing a Background Check for Correctional Officer Jobs?

  1. jordan January 12, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    I have applied to corrections on ny. I have gone through all the tests and interviews. I called my investigator today and he said I failed to mention an arrest I had 9 years ago. It was a possession charge. I know he probably thinks im full of it because I told him ive never done drugs and that I was charged because my college dorm roommate had some in our room and since I admitted to knowing about it I was charged as well. My deposition is sealed so it doesn’t say anything but I wrote him a letter explaining it. Will that disqualify me? I told him I didn’t mention it because I forgot…it was almost a decade ago…

    • b June 3, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      Hey I was wondering did you ever get to be a correctional officer because I seen u got in trouble years ago I was curious myself I’m trying to be one ?

  2. b June 3, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    I have petty theft on my record under 50 dollars should I apply to be a correctional officer?

  3. Allie September 9, 2015 at 6:04 am #

    I also a 2nd degree misdemeanor petit theft ($35.00, dumb I know) charge on my record. However it happened 02/19/2014 and it was taken care of (court costs) immediately. This charge might imply that I’m dishonest but is it likely that I would be disqualified because of it?

  4. Tianna September 15, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    I just had an interview at the prison today and was denied the job because I have a summary offense retail theft ($15.00) from 2013. Was told summary offense are less then a misdemeanor and are equal to a traffic violation I’m so upset and embarrassed but I’m going to try and fight this because it says you cannot have a felony or misdemeanor and I have neither!