There are a number of especially important skills that all correctional officers should possess in order to be successful.
The most essential skill that comes to play every day in the life of a corrections officer is interacting with people. Whether it’s the fellow members of your staff or the prison inmates and detainees that you are required to oversee and manage whatever situation will require you to interact in a professional and a disciplined manner.
In that same lane, in order to become a great correctional officer, the way in which you interact with people primarily depends on the way in which you communicate with them. Communication skills are very relevant in any career field so its importance in the career of corrections is no less important. Being able to effectively communicate and convey your message in an assertive, yet tactful manner will carry you a long way throughout your career.
Effective communication also becomes important when communicating in written form, and not just orally. Ensure that your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are constantly of the highest order. People assemble many of their initial impressions of a person based upon how we speak and how we write, so do all you can to make that first impression people receive a good one.
Additionally, report writing is an important part of the job of a correctional officer. Completing daily reports, logs, or updating records require you to be able to write effectively.
One of the best methods to help you become more comfortable with you speech and communication is simply by being knowledgeable about the subject matter you are presented. Having the knowledge to speak on a particular topic definitely increases your ability to communicate about it in a clear, concise manner. In order to get to that level of understanding as it related to being a correctional officer, you will need to research and study the related rules and regulations that you are required to enforce, know it from cover to cover, and in no time you will be able to retain and regurgitate the needed information at will.
Another great skill that all correctional officers need to possess is being able to multi-task. Everybody should be familiar with the term, basically being able to do multiple things at once, is a skill only a few people can truly master.
Finally, an outstanding correctional officer should carry themselves at all times with a sense of professionalism and discipline that comes along with the position and the uniform. Always maintain a high level of moral integrity and dedication to duty, honor, and self-less service. Practice patience and tolerance when necessary, but be firm and assertive when the situation arises. Implement all of these skills into your career and you’ll be on your way to becoming a great correctional officer!