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Correctional Officer (9662)

Correctional Officer

California State Personnel Board Specification


​Schem Code​Class Code​Class Titles​Probation Period
​WY50​9662​Correctional Officer​12 Months


Salary Information



Under supervision as a sworn essential public safety officer, to provide the public, staff, and inmates protection by enforcing State and Federal laws and administrative regulations while supervising the conduct of inmates or parolees of a State correctional facility or camp; and to do other related work.


In a correctional institution, conservation center, camp, parole facility, or other custodial assignment: disarms, subdues and applies restraints to an inmate; runs to the scene of a disturbance or emergency; supervises the conduct of inmates or parolees in housing units, during meals and bathing, at recreation, in classrooms, and on work and other assignments, and escorts them to and from activities; stands watch on an armed post or patrols grounds, quarters, perimeter security walls and fences, or shops; walks or stands for long periods of time; runs up or down stairs; maintains visual surveillance of institutional grounds from observation tower or central security area; use reasonable force when appropriate to protect the safety and security of the public, staff, inmates and the institution; utilizes de-escalation/communication/use of force techniques to defend the safety and security of a correctional institution; defends self against an inmate armed with a weapon; listens for unusual sounds that may indicate illegal activity or disturbances such as whispering, scuffling, or rattling of chain link fence; watches for indications of illegal activity or disturbance in relative darkness or in normal lighting; reads daily journal, facility rules, procedures, regulations, post orders, and other formal written materials relevant to job performance; writes various reports, memoranda, and correspondence; documents incidents per policy and procedures; oversees the work of a group of inmates detailed to mechanical or industrial operations, or to farm, maintenance, or other activities; escorts inmates or parolees on trips or other movements outside institution or facility grounds; operates motor vehicles to perform routine and emergency transport of inmates; takes periodic counts of inmates; prepares count slips for all types of counts and clears counts with control; inspects quarters of inmates for contraband, and checks on sanitary conditions and orderliness; conducts clothed/unclothed body searches; examines incoming and outgoing mail; promotes acceptable attitudes and behavior of inmates or parolees; grades inmates on conduct and productivity; acts as entrance gate officer and searches visitors and transport vehicles for contraband, admits visitors with proper credentials; supervises visits to inmates, and escorts visitors through the institution facilities; reports infractions of rules and regulations and irregular and suspicious occurrences, and takes or recommends appropriate action; maintains safety and security to prevent escapes and injury by inmates or parolees to themselves, employees, and to property; searches for and recaptures escaped inmates; carries, lifts, or drags heavy objects such as a disabled or unconscious inmate/staff; performs patrol duties primarily by vehicle and foot patrols; conducts criminal and administrative investigations; receives, checks, maintains, and issues guns, ammunition, and other supplies and equipment; keeps firearms in good working condition; fires weapons in combat/emergency situations; and may perform noncustodial duties as a minor part of a custodial assignment.


Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Purposes and methods of discipline as applied to persons in custody; duties of a Correctional Officer; correct grammar and spelling; proper use and care of firearms; basic arithmetic.


Ability to: Control, direct, and instruct inmates or parolees individually and in groups; remember names and faces; interpret and enforce institutional rules and regulations with firmness, tact, and impartiality; read and interpret written material accurately and rapidly; write effectively; prepare accurate and objective written reports using good grammar, composition and correct spelling; promote socially acceptable attitudes and behavior of inmates or parolees; rate the conduct and productivity of inmates or parolees accurately and impartially; think and act quickly in emergencies; reason logically and communicate effectively; make simple arithmetic computations; correctly follow oral/written directions; accept the requirements of the Department and institution; accurately distinguish inmates and correctional staff from a tower or elevated position; accept role as authority figure; make appropriate use of disciplinary options; deal tactfully and professionally with the public, inmates, and staff; willingness to follow chain of command; climb ladders and stairwells on a routine and emergency basis; see in dim/bright light situations; operate departmental vehicles and equipment, including firearms and mobile radio; physically perform a variety of tasks including carrying accident victims and subduing combative inmates; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action; and make satisfactory progress in the prescribed academic and practical work in an approved apprenticeship program for the Correctional Officer.


Minimum Qualifications

Education: Equivalent to completion of the twelfth grade.


Twelfth grade equivalence: Equivalence to the completion of the twelfth grade may be demonstrated by: (1) possession of a high school diploma issued by a U.S. institution; or (2) passing the California High School Proficiency test; or (3) passing the General Education Development test indicating high school graduation level; or (4) receiving a college degree from an accredited two-or four- year college.


Special Requirements

Minimum age for appointment 21 years.


Felony Disqualification: Government Code 1029 provides that persons convicted of a felony are disqualified from employment as peace officers. Such persons are not eligible to compete for, or be appointed to, positions in this class. Government Code 1031 (c) provides that a candidate for a peace officer position be fingerprinted for search of local, State, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.


Firearm Conviction Disqualification: Any person prohibited by State or Federal law from possessing, using or having in his/her custody or control any firearm, firearm device, or other weapon or device authorized for use by the California Department of Corrections is not eligible to compete for, be appointed to, or continue employment in this classification.


Background Investigation: Government Code 1029.1 requires that a thorough background investigation be completed prior to appointment date. Persons unsuccessful in the investigation cannot be appointed as a peace officer. Government Code 1031 (c) provides that a candidate for a peace officer position be fingerprinted for search of local, State, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.


Medical Requirement: Government Code 1031 (f) provides that any physical and psychological suitability examinations administered be completed prior to appointment date. Persons who are not successful in these examinations cannot be appointed as a peace officer.


Drug Testing Requirement: Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug screening test. (The drug screening test will be waived for employees who are currently in a designated "Sensitive" class for which drug testing is required under State Personnel Board Rule 213.)

Citizenship Requirement: Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031 (a), in order to be a peace officer, a person must be either a U.S. Citizen or be a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for U.S. Citizenship. Any permanent resident alien who is employed as a peace officer shall be disqualified from holding that position if his/her application for citizenship is denied.


Emotional maturity and stability; sympathetic and objective understanding of persons in custody; satisfactory record as a law- abiding citizen; leadership ability; tact; good personal and social adjustment for correctional work; neat personal appearance; courage; alertness; willingness to work day, evening, or night shifts, weekends, and holidays, and to report for duty at any time emergencies arise.


The Correctional Officer class is an entry level and training class. Persons selected as Correctional Officers undergo a formal training program at the California Department of Corrections' Training Academy and apprenticeship program pursuant to the standards developed by the Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) per Penal Code sections 13600 and 13601.


In carrying out the primary duty of public protection, the Correctional Officer class is expected to demonstrate high ethical standards consistent with other state peace officer classifications and perform in such a way that facilitates and promotes the department’s rehabilitative programs, policies, and public safety efforts. The Correctional Officer class performs duties that vary among institutions and among designated posts within an institution due to varying security levels of inmates, design of correctional facilities, geographical location, watch assignment, and the number of inmates. Assignments for this class include duty in towers, housing units, reception centers, kitchens, outside crew supervision, search and escort, control booths, yard, gun posts, and transportation.



All employees must have general qualifications as described by California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 172.


Class History

​Class Title​Date Established​Date Revised​Date Abolished​Title Changed
​Correctional Officer​2/24/1945​12/13/2018


  Updated: 12/20/2018
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