How to Become a Correctional Treatment Specialist

Throughout our nation’s prisons, the primary tasks are public safety and inmate rehabilitation. At any given time there are over 2 million persons incarcerated in the United States. Most of these individuals are facing release at some point in their lives. In addition, there are many programs that inmates can take advantage of while incarcerated. In order to access these programs, inmates are assigned a Correctional Treatment Specialist (sometimes called a case manager, correctional counselor, or treatment manager).

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Correctional treatment specialists are charged with the task of identifying appropriate programs for inmates, referring them to said programs, and monitoring their progress. Their primary goal is to help provide inmates with the skills necessary to prevent recidivism within the prison system. Case managers help formulate release plans when the individuals are released from custody or from community correctional supervision (probation/parole). Most case managers work within the prisons; however, some work outside a security facility with parole officers charged with supervision of those released early from prison. Due to prison overcrowding, case managers carry an extremely large case load. Their job responsibilities also include identifying individuals which may be appropriate for early release, work release programs, weekend furloughs and other special programs for inmates who are not identified as security or escape risks.

How to Become a Correctional Treatment Specialist

The minimum requirements to become a correctional case manager are a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, human services, psychology, sociology or criminology. Several accredited schools offer a criminal justice degree or criminology degree to those seeking to become a correctional treatment specialist. In addition, states require a specified training program that must be successfully completed. Criminal treatment specialists must be able to work in a secure custody facility/closed environment. They must have the ability to work with potentially violent individuals and with the general public. Most agencies require that correctional case managers be at least 21 years of age.

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Correctional Treatment Specialist Salary

The projected job outlook for these positions is highly favorable due to high prison populations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for probation officers and correctional officers is $48,190.1 Correctional treatment specialists are hired at the state and federal levels. Federal level employment pays slightly higher than state employment.

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References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.