More often than not individuals select careers without really knowing the true day to day tasks they will be doing. The often go off what they have seen on t.v. or in a movie. If your considering becoming a correctional officer this will give you a better idea of what this entails.
On a usual day an officer will facilitate typical operations that include things such as feeding inmates three times a day, providing them with clean clothing and bedding and allowing them the opportunity to attend programs or religious services. You will be dealing directly with inmates who may have committed murder, molested children, raped someone etc.
Beyond these daily responsibilities officers also search new inmates as they get booked in, process paper work, take fingerprints, release inmates when the court orders, search cells, stop fights, perform headcounts and more.
Most officers that enjoy their job will tell you that one of the main reasons they like their job is because each day can be quite different from the last. When you go to work you never know what is going to happen. You may have someone try to kill themselves or you may have an inmate try to fight you or someone may have a seizure due to drug withdrawals. You may have a group of inmates flood their cells for one reason or another. There are many situations that can occur in this type of job. It is the responsibility of the correctional officers on duty to handle these situations safely and effectively to restore order to the facility.
These bigger situations may occur very often or quite seldom depending on the facility you are working in. Usually the bigger the facility the more issues you will be involved in. Each day your most important responsibility will be to make it home to your family safely and help your co-workers do the same.
Becoming a correctional officer can be very rewarding but it is certainly not for everyone. Many people are not willing to work with the types of individuals that you find in prisons and jails which is understandable. You must also have thick skin and an ability to remain calm in tense situations. At times it is necessary to use force and therefore you must maintain a reasonable fitness level.
If you are thinking about a career in criminal justice do your research now. Reality is different than tv. A good place to start for career information is here. This site has information on careers varying from forensics to border patrol to detective work and more.