Corrections play a vital role in society. The prison system controls criminal behavior and ideally, rehabilitates convicted criminals into law-abiding citizens. With a corrections degree, you can play a role in criminal detention, parole, or probation.
Corrections: An Overview
The corrections system strives to understand and respond effectively to criminal behavior, making the most of limited public resources. The field covers prison administration, social work and psychological counseling, public policy, and management roles. Career paths include:
- Prison guard
- Correctional officer
- Parole officer
- Correctional treatment specialist
- Juvenile corrections officer
- Probation officer
Corrections professionals generally work in federal, state, and local government. You can also find opportunities with private contractors and security services.
Corrections Degrees and Programs
A corrections training prepares you to function effectively as a correctional officer or other corrections professional. Corrections degrees are offered at the associate, bachelors, and master's degree levels. College degrees are increasingly required and generally recommended for careers in corrections.
Corrections degrees and programs feature a blend of hands-on corrections training and academic instruction. Courses may cover topics like: prison administration, review of prison facilities, corrections policies, criminal counseling and rehabilitation, juvenile corrections, and correctional healthcare. Some corrections degree programs include an internship for hands-on training.
Corrections Career Outlook
Rising crime and an overtaxed justice system are increasing the demand for trained correctional and probation officers. The U.S. Department of Labor calls opportunities for correctional officers favorable, with excellent opportunities for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists.
Estimated employment growth between 2008 and 2018 is 9 percent for correctional officers and 19 percent for probation officers. In 2008, the average salary for correctional officers was $41,340. Probation officers earned a mean annual wage of $49,520. Correctional supervisors and managers averaged $58,380.