A corrections classification officer works with inmates to correctly assign them to the right part of the corrections system. They're responsible for assessing inmates and putting them in the right part of the correctional system both at intake and through their incarceration. This includes both choosing the right facility as well as the right programs within that facility.
Types of Work
A classification officer's job covers an inmate's entire stay in prison. The officer chooses the inmate's facility and unit as well as assigns the inmate to rehabilitation and treatment programs as appropriate. Based on the prisoner's needs, the officer can determine which educational programs within the system she should attend and which jobs she should do.
Advice and Counseling
Corrections classifications officers aren't just administrative officers who put prisoners into organizational boxes. They also work directly with inmates on many levels. When a prisoner first enters the system, the classification officer helps her adjust to life in the prison. The officer also stays in the inmate's life as a resource to help with family or personal issues. At the same time, classification officers also are also responsible for providing advice and counsel on prison boards.
Education and Experience
The entry-level variant position requires a bachelor's degree, but no work experience. Applicants with no college education can be considered with six years of work experience in any field. Those with some college education can substitute it for experience on a roughly year-for-year basis. College credits and degrees must come from an accredited school to be counted.
Louisiana recognizes two higher levels of the corrections classification officer position. The mid-level position requires a year of professional experience in a related field in addition to the requirement for the entry-level position. Mid-level officers work on more complicated cases involving inmates with more specific needs. The highest level is open only to people with at least two years of professional experience in addition to the other experience and education requirements. The senior-level position still has no supervisory duties, but handles the most complicated classification problems.
- Corrections.com: Classification -- The Engine That Makes Correctional Facilities Go
- Louisiana Department of State Civil Service: Corrections Classifications Officer 1
- Louisiana Department of State Civil Service: Corrections Classifications Officer 2
- Louisiana Department of State Civil Service: Corrections Classifications Officer 3
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.