A correctional officer, whether or not he or she has direct contact with inmates, does a very important and stressful job. Sometimes it involves identifying a concealed weapon and disarming a person. Other times it’s about choosing the right inmate for a rehabilitation program to help them get a second chance in life. Either way, this job is not for everyone, and it’s crucial that only the right candidates make the cut.
How do you ensure this at your state’s Department of Corrections? Some departments rely on local community colleges to produce a steady stream of recruits, while others, like the Michigan DOC, have their own training academies. But no matter how you approach this, in-service training is a must to help all those young officers put their classroom knowledge to use. At MdE, Inc., we have developed unique software for correctional facilities that will help you better evaluate your new recruits and their practical skills.
Correctional Officer Practical Skills Training
As we mentioned, being a correctional officer requires a variety of skills, a certain physical shape and specific personality traits. Training and evaluating one person against all of these different factors is not an easy job, but you can take some steps to simplify it.
Oftentimes, the safety of a correctional officer and the entire correctional facility rests on how accurately the procedures are followed. Some of the basic procedures every recruit should know include things like:
- How to restrain an inmate
- How to conduct cell search and strip search
- How to process new inmates and enter them into the system
- How to safely transport prisoners.
When evaluating how these procedures are followed, it’s useful to take notes and even photos and video as needed. But what do you do with all this scattered information? If you are using specialized software for daily observation reports, you can add your notes and upload your files to the system to create a comprehensive record of what happened today and how your trainee reacted. This approach reduces the chances of lost data, misplaced notes and unsubstantiated claims.
Some types of skills may never get a real life test during a trainee’s probationary period. In that case, classroom training and scores are the best tools you’ve got for evaluating a correctional officer’s comprehension of the required subject. Classroom training may be appropriate for skills like:
- First aid and CPR
- Riot control
- Emergency preparedness
- Handling of firearms
- Legal knowledge
However, when you are on a hiring spree and need to provide classroom training to large groups, things can get complicated. By using classroom software, such as MdE’s CLASS, you can easily and quickly input data for large groups, get an overview of the progress, automatically calculate the pass/fail status and class average, and even monitor trends.
Special Skills Training
Certain correctional facilities may put additional stress on the correctional officers or require them to adjust their approach to handling inmates. Such facilities include juvenile corrections and death row corrections that house inmates with a unique set of problems, as well as evoke unique emotional responses from the officers. Trainees working in these facilities may require additional evaluation of their overall mental state, attitude and understanding of their role as a correctional officer. In this case, detailed notes left by the training supervisor will help better evaluate whether a particular recruit fits the job requirements. And because with the automated software you can have multiple supervisors leaving feedback for the same trainee, you get the full picture.
Interested in learning more about how software can make your life as a correctional officer training supervisor easier? Get in touch with our public safety software experts at MdE, Inc.