The focus of programs designed for aspiring prison guards vary from school to school. Some courses may focus on academic theories of corrections communication and management, while others specifically with weapons training, self-defense and emergency medical training.
10 Schools with Prison Guard Programs
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree Offered||Tuition (2016-2017)*|
|Delaware State University||Dover, DE||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$7,532 in-state, $16,138 out-of-state|
|Youngstown State University||Youngstown, OH||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$8,087 in-state, $14,087 out-of-state|
|Seminole State College of Florida||Sanford, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate||$2,800 in-state, $8,020 out-of-state|
|State University of New York - Canton||Canton, NY||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,470 in-state, $16,320 out-of-state|
|Ferris State University||Big Rapids, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor||$10,976 in-state, $17,640 out-of-state|
|Grand Rapids Community College||Grand Rapids, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$111/credit, in-state, $353/credit out-of-state|
|Kellogg Community College||Battle Creek, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$103.50/credit in-state, $240/credit out-of-state|
|Community College of Denver||Denver, CO||2-year, Public||Associate's||$211.90 in-state\credit, $561.65/credit out-of-state|
|San Bernardino Valley College||San Bernardino, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$46/unit in-state, $257/unit out-of-state|
|Lehigh Carbon Community College||Schnecksville, PA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,500 in- district, $4,500 out-of-state|
Sources: School websites
School Selection Criteria
Prison guards must be over 18, 21 in some cases, and free of any felony charges, firearms digressions or narcotics convictions. Students interested in corrections and criminal justice schools should consider the following when making a choice:
- Certificate programs typically lack internships; practical experiences may be gained from bachelor's or associate's degree programs.
- Bachelor's degree programs should be considered if a goal is to advance into administrative positions within prisons and in probation offices.
- Corrections officers must be certified, and students should make sure any program they are considering meets their state's standards.
Certificate for Prison Guards
Certificate programs for prison guards are available as corrections programs and may result in independent certification granted by the school or college.
Associate Degree for Prison Guards
Associate degree programs for prison guards may be available as programs in corrections or criminal justice and typically completed in two years. The completion of an internship could also be required.
Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice
Bachelor's degree programs are typically not necessary in order to attain employment as a prison guard, but corrections tracks are offered within select criminal justice degree programs. Prior to completion of the program, students typically complete an internship to gain hands-on training in their area of expertise.
For those aspiring to become prison guards, programs are available at the certificate, associate and bachelor levels, often in criminal justice or corrections. Internships and hands-on, practical experiences are usually a part of all programs.