Correctional Officer


Correctional officers are responsible for the custody, care, supervision, welfare and rehabilitation of prisoners in prisons and correctional centres.

Duties & Tasks

Correctional officers may perform the following tasks:

  • search prisoners and cells for illegal/prohibited items
  • lock prisoners in cells
  • observe the conduct and behaviour of prisoners to maintain control, discipline and security within the correctional centre
  • advise if prisoners need special care, such as a visit to a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker
  • inspect doors, gates, grilles, locks, window bars and other security equipment, ensuring they are secure and functional
  • supervise prisoners at all times of the day, including meal times, recreation periods, sport and work assignments
  • patrol assigned areas and report to supervisors or other workers any breach of rules, unsatisfactory attitudes or adjustment problems of prisoners
  • serve meals to prisoners confined to cells
  • organise clothing, reading material, toiletries or other items needed by prisoners
  • participate in the reception, induction and discharge of prisoners in accordance with procedures
  • process, direct and observe visitors
  • perform escort duties of prisoners, both within the prison and externally when required
  • prepare a variety of reports, including admission and incident reports
  • assist with the risk/needs assessment of prisoners and provide input into their case and sentence management
  • provide leadership and act as a positive role model to assist the rehabilitation process
  • help offenders seek rehabilitation and return to the community by providing basic case management support and supervision
  • provide a timely response to emergencies or breaches of security
  • provide first aid.

Working Conditions

Correctional officers can be required to work shifts, including weekends and public holidays, and may be transferred anywhere within their state or territory. In some states, case management is an important aspect of their work. This gives individual officers the chance to work with small groups of 10 to 15 prisoners within a re-education and rehabilitation programme.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy working with people
  • normal vision
  • good interpersonal skills, including being fair, sensitive and patient
  • assertiveness and self-confidence
  • good written and verbal communication skills
  • empathy and cultural awareness
  • a mature, responsible attitude towards managing people
  • able to resolve conflict and problems
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • able to stay calm in stressful situations
  • Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
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