With What Types of Correctional Agencies Can I Find Employment?

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If you are considering a career in corrections, there are many different types of administrating agencies that may be able to offer you employment. We’re going to provide you with a quick run-down of some of those options to check into.


For those farther along in your career, you may want to pursue employment with the United States government. Options include Federal Bureau of Prisons or United States Probation and Pre-Trial Services Offices in various locations across the nation. It should be noted that at least some positions require you to be appointed prior to your 37th birthday.


Each state has their own correctional department that provides custody, control, rehabilitation, and supervision for individuals sentenced to prison time. Most states will call their department a Department of Correction or Corrections (DOC), but there are some with alternate names, such as Corrections Department, Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections or Department of Public Safety. They may offer correctional services for adults and juveniles under the same or different agencies (some states have juvenile justice services under their Department of Children & Family Services or Children, Youth, and Families department). Some states have their community corrections and reentry services under these DOCs, while others may have these services under a separate probation/parole or community corrections agency. Those advanced in their career may also find employment with a state parole board.


If you look for jobs on the local government level, there are many organizations to consider. You can work for a county, including a county or judicial circuit/district court (including pre-trial services) or sheriff’s office. Look for county Community Supervision and Corrections Departments (CSCD). There are many county probation offices or community corrections departments that provide community supervision to their local region. You can work for a city, town or village, some of which may run their own regional correctional facilities. Another employment possibility is working for a tribal law enforcement or community corrections organization. There are 566 federally recognized tribal communities across the United States. Many of these communities have their own law enforcement agencies, tribal courts, and community corrections programs, as well as detention facilities and alternative programs.


Private companies have assumed correctional functions in a number of states and localities, particularly in the southern half of the United States. This provides another avenue for employment for those interested in a correctional career. There are also smaller local or regional correctional agencies, particularly in regards to community supervision and community residential services. Some of these correctional agencies were started by professionals that previously worked for public correctional agencies. You may also consider correctional associations and organizations, like American Probation and Parole Association, American Correctional Association, and American Jail Association, as sources for employment.

Non-profit agencies also offer the opportunity for employment. These can include halfway houses, community residential facilities or day programs that assist those on supervision or who are homeless following incarceration. Some non-profits work with previous offenders to assist with rehabilitation (including recovery from substance abuse) and reentry efforts. There are also societies and groups that do work with prison institutions or to raise awareness of corrections-related issues and causes.

Extraordinary Choices, Extraordinary Rewards

As demonstrated above, there are numerous different types of agencies from which to seek employment. Having so many possibilities can help to ensure a perfect fit based on your specialization, work style and career level.

When you search for jobs on DiscoverCorrections.com, you will find job opportunities from all of the types of organizations mentioned. We have job openings from across the nation, making it easy to find correctional positions in any location.

What type of correctional agency are you interested in working for or do you already work for?
What do you like about that type of correctional agency?

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