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Course Summary: Basic Correctional Officer Training

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 22 Issue: 8 Dated: August 1997 Pages: 13-16
Craig Kaufman
Date Published
August 1997
4 pages

This paper summarizes the courses offered in basic correctional officer pre-service and in-service training in the United States and Canada.


A number of topics in the basic correctional officer training course curricula uniformly receive the most attention. One notable difference exists between U.S. systems and those of Canada. U.S. curricula tend to place firearms training at the top of their lists for hours of training received and indicate its importance within a number of major training topics. Canadian Provinces, on the other hand, do not include firearms training within curricula, nor does it receive much attention among major training topics. Almost all corrections departments offer significant training hours in courses such as self-defense and security devices/procedure, followed by crisis management and report writing, with first aid and special inmate populations receiving some attention. This paper also singles out some States that have developed innovations and standards for correctional officer training courses. Colorado, for example, has new courses on violence in the workplace, the management of violent patients, confronting criminal thinking, and basic counseling skills. Arkansas has recently added training in gang recognition, basic field training, and emergency preparedness. New to the Correctional Service of Canada are courses in crisis management, basic case management, and a revised correctional training program.