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Corrections Classification Officer: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Corrections classification officers require little formal education. Learn about the description, job duties and salary to see if this is the right career for you.

It is the duty of a corrections classification officer to evaluate new inmates entering the prison system so as to establish a suitable level of incarceration for each individual. This involves interviewing, conducting thorough research and making referrals for any necessary psychological or social assistance. The minimum education required for this position is a high school diploma; however, those working in the federal system need to have completed a bachelor's degree.

Essential Information

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.

Required Education High school diploma
Bachelor's degree for federal employment
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 4%
Average Salary (2015)* $45,320 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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.

Job Duties

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.

Salary Information

In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average yearly wages of $45,320 for correctional officers and jailers (www.bls.gov). Median annual earnings in the profession were $40,530, the BLS said.

In order to determine the incarceration level of an inmate, corrections classification officers must conduct various psychological tests, questionnaires and research into a prisoner's background, where they compile information pertaining to family, health, social status and education. These officers are also responsible for familiarizing new inmates with the prison system by answering any questions they might have. They often keep records of inmates and assess prisoner requests for reclassification.

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