The hiring process for joining the police department or the department of corrections is a bit more complicated than the hiring process for the typical job. If a person wishes to become a police officer, their first step is to have or obtain a high school diploma or G.E.D. and they must be a U.S. citizen 21 years old. The next step in the process is to pass a written examination. Most departments require this of those applying as an entry-level officer. If the written test is passed, a physical test is taken to determine agility. During this time, a background check is usually being run on the candidate. Some departments also request the applicate take a polygraph test to ensure their honesty when joining the force. If all these requirements are met and passed, the person will be asked to speak in an oral interview before the hiring officers of the department.
If the person is deemed eligible for work within the department, they will meet will the Chief of Police and begin their first assignment as an officer. If it is found that the candidate needs more training before being hired, it may be recommended that they become a recruit and join the local academy for training. Many of these academies require a time of service with the academy before taking another examination being made an officer.
When researching local police departments, I found something very strange. My area does not publicize the process for police hiring, they ask that you fill out an application and return in person. Your application is summarily reviewed and you will be asked to reapply at a later date or to schedule an appointment for a basic interview. No other information is given.
The corrections department is essentially the prison network. All the prisons are a part of the corrections and those who work there are corrections officers. In regards to the corrections officer, I found that many come from a police background or academy training specifically to work in corrections. The duties of a corrections officer include handling of prisoners and the prison. Corrections officers have to be ready for anything within the prison whether it be a fight, a rowdy prisoner, or a calm normal day on the job.
On the opposite side, is the probation department, when a prisoner is temporarily released under certain terms and conditions they must follow. A probation officer deals with the prisoners who are being released on probation. Their job is to monitor the probationers under their care and prevent them from breaking the terms of their probation and returning to prison. This can include helping them find work, a place to live, and regular check-ins of their daily activities.
The requirements for policing seem quite strict between all of the available departments, which makes sense considering the public is putting their safety in the hands of those hired. Overall, anyone wishing to join law enforcement should think very hard before signing up and should make sure they are prepared for the requirements of the application and hiring process as well as the job itself.