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Corrections Degree Program

When people think of law enforcement or public safety, the image that usually comes to mind is the officer working a beat, responding to calls and making arrests. However, the management of criminals after their arrest is a major aspect of the criminal justice system and the growing rate of incarceration in the nation’s corrections facilities generates an ongoing need for law enforcement personnel charged with supervising and managing criminals in detention and after release.

Corrections Officer Training and Courses

A degree in corrections can help prepare individuals to work inside correctional facilities as correctional officers, prison guards, and in other support roles. Corrections degree programs also provide preparation for such careers as probation and parole officers. Courses in these degree programs generally include overviews of the history of corrections, correctional methods, public safety, and working with individuals in a correctional environment. Corrections degrees are also referred to as criminal justice degrees with a concentration in corrections. Individuals can earn anywhere from an associate’s degree to a doctorate in corrections.

Did you know? An estimated 6.9 million adults were either incarcerated in or supervised via parole or probation by the US corrections system in late 2014.1 Although it is unfortunate that the number is so high, this means there is an ongoing demand for qualified correctional officers.

With increased crime, mandatory structured sentencing, and growing inmate populations, corrections jobs remain in high demand. These jobs call for well-educated, well-trained individuals who have at least some formal training, such as a two-year associate’s degree. Command positions (sergeants, lieutenants, superintendents, etc.) often require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Correctional Management Degree Requirements

Typical corrections degree program admission requirements include a desire to work in the corrections industry, a high school diploma or GED, and strong computer skills.

CJDS Fact According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, to be hired as an entry-level correctional officer at a federal prison, the Federal Bureau of Prisons requires a bachelor’s degree or higher or 3 years of relevant full-time experience.2

Online Corrections Degree Info, Courses, and Criminal Justice Programs

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What Jobs Can You Get With a Corrections Degree?

Graduates with a degree in corrections are well-positioned to apply for jobs as prison guards, correctional officers, and probation and parole officers. Those with a higher degree may seek advanced positions such as federal corrections officer or correctional officer supervisor.

Some examples of job titles available to graduates include:

You can also view current job openings in your state and research job requirements at our criminal justice job board.

1. US Bureau of Justice Statistics, Total Correctional Population: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Correctional Officers and Bailiffs: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/correctional-officers.htm#tab-4