Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

Job Summary

Correctional Officers and Bailiffs are responsible for providing and maintaining secure conditions in a prison or a court room respectively.

Correctional Officers supervise persons who have been arrested or who are awaiting a trial or who have been sentenced to jail. They help to prevent fights, disturbances and escapes. They also inspect the facilities, cells, mail and visitors for illegal items and weapons. They may also be required to handcuff and apply leg irons to help restrain inmates when escorting them. Officers must also keep records of inmates and their activities.

In the court, Bailiffs, which are also known as marshals or court officers, enforce the law and rules of the court to ensure that the legal process is carried out correctly. They offer protection for juries, assist the judge, present documents and escort inmates.


Correctional Officers generally carry out the following duties:

  • Oversee the activities of inmates

  • Maintain order within jails and prisons by enforcing the rules

  • Inspect cells and inmates for the presence of illegal items or security breaches

  • Check any mail and visitors

  • Escort and transport inmates

Bailiffs generally carry out the following duties:

  • Provide security in court rooms and for persons involved in the legal process such as judges and juries

  • Enforces and follows the rules and procedures of the court

  • Assist the judge with handling documents

  • Escort judges, jurors, witnesses and prisoners




Generally, a high school diploma or equivalent is required.

Some employers may require a college education or previous work experience.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires persons who are seeking employment in a federal prison to have a bachelor’s degree and 1-3 years of experience in a field where they were involved in counseling, assisting and supervising individuals.

Most agencies require applicants to be at least between the ages of 18 and 21.


In order to test Correctional Officers and Bailiffs effectively, employers usually administer the eye test and the work ethics test to analyze the visual acuity of these personnel and their ethical code of conduct.


Recommended Tests
  • Work Ethics Test
  • Eye (Vision) Test



Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

Job Facts

2018 Median Pay
$44,400 per year, $21.35 per hour
Entry level qualification
High school diploma or equivalent
Number of jobs in 2016
Expected Growth rate (2016 – 26)