This information was originally published on (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation). The page is no longer being hosted, so we have restored it in it’s entirety to this page for archival purposes.

The following list is provided for the convenience of local corrections agencies and training providers. This list presents the job tasks and responsibilities that have been identified as necessary and important for Corrections Officers to perform their job. The list has been empirically established from research conducted by the California Board of Corrections during the original Selection and Training Standards Project completed in 1982-1985 and the subsequent Standards Revalidation Projects of 1989-1990 and 1993-1994. The Board will be conducting another revalidation project for the period of 1998-2000.

The job tasks noted below are the required statewide core tasks for all Corrections Officers (CO) employed by California’s local corrections agencies. They aid in the determination of the basic knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics necessary to perform the job of a CO in California. Further, the entry core curriculum prepares new employees for the performance of these critical job responsibilities.

The original item number is included in the list. The numbers next to each job task statement are from the original research questionnaire, thus they are not presented sequentially. This is because not every job task statement in the questionnaire (300+ statements) was validated as being a statewide a core task.

Obtain information from transporting/arresting officers and inmates for intake purposes.

Review intake forms and/or court documents for accuracy, completeness, and time limits.

Fill out intake forms/cards.

Pat-search incoming, newly arriving inmates.

Strip-search incoming, newly arriving inmates.

Screen inmates to determine if medical/mental health attention is needed before intake.

Inventory and take custody of inmates’ property, clothing, and/or money.

Ensure incoming inmates get to make any required phone calls.

Conduct photographing of incoming inmates/bookings/registrants.

Fingerprint/palmprint inmates/bookings/registrants using “Live Scan” or ink-rolling equipment.

Request and interpret DOJ criminal history (e.g., “Rap sheet”).

Supervise showering, delousing and/or decontamination of new inmates.

Issue clothing, bedding, supplies to new inmates.

Prepare inmate identification cards or identification wristbands and give/affix to inmates.

Prepare forms, cards, file jackets necessary to initiate inmates’ facility record (e.g., Facility Record Card, Housing Card).

Prepare pre-booking medical screening form.

Run warrant checks on incoming inmates and/or prior to releasing inmates.

Release inmates on Own Recognizance or Cite Release and fill out appropriate forms.

Accept and process payments for bail.

Classify inmates (e.g., according to security risk factors) and assign proper housing.

Provide inmate orientation regarding facilities’ rules and procedures, meal schedules, etc.

Verify identity of inmates before releasing.

Complete paperwork necessary for “in-custody” releases (e.g., to another detention facility).

Complete paperwork necessary for “time served” releases.

Verify/review time computation information related to detention.

Turn over property and/or money for releases; get appropriate signatures and record/log.

Verify identity of officer picking up or delivering inmate.

Return or send personal property to inmates on discharge.

Escort inmates individually or in groups to and from locations within facility (e.g., to classrooms, work details, infirmary, interview, visiting, or phone rooms or from holding cells to assigned cell/dorm).

Search transportation vehicles for weapons, contraband, and/or drugs.

Search inmates for weapons, contraband, and/or drugs before and after transporting.

Plan transportation route.

Verify inmates’ identity and classification before escorting or transporting.

Transport inmates individually or in groups to and from locations outside the facility (e.g., to other facilities, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, courts, airports, community work assignments).

Transport equipment and/or evidence.

Guard inmates outside the facility (e.g., in hospitals, at funerals, in court).

Conduct vehicle safety check/inspection prior to transporting inmates.

Prepare/update/file inmates’ records, roster, housing cards, personal data cards.

Prepare list of inmates going to court by reviewing arrest forms, order detention cards, court calendar.

Review court orders, court disposition, O.R.’s (to determine inmates’ detention status); take necessary actions and file court documents/papers.

Review bail bonds to ensure correctness.

Record disposition of inmates’ property, clothing, and/or money in appropriate log.

Make security rounds/visual check of inmates.

Log inmate movement in and out of cells and facility (e.g., safety cells, holding cells, sobering cells, transportation, transfers, bookings, discharges, work details, work or school furloughs).

Log non-inmates entering and leaving the facility (e.g., attorneys, visitors, civilian workers).

Maintain list or card file of authorized inmate visitors.

Log inmates’ visits.

Record relevant activities and incidents occurring during shift in daily journal or log.

Fill out inspection slips and security check slips.

Do population counts (e.g., weekly count of inmates in facility/area, number of admissions/releases).

Fill out requisition/order forms for facility supplies.

Fill out requisitions for repairs or work requests.

Write reports (e.g., incident, disciplinary, escape, crime, arrest, supplemental).

Account for facility keys; count keys, verify against key log.

Prepare correspondence, inter-departmental memos and other administrative paperwork not specifically related to inmates.

Fill out medical/mental health referral form.

Type reports/forms/correspondence.

Determine visitor’s purpose and issue passes/badges to visitors.

Check visitor passes or passes of non-facility personnel entering and leaving facility/cells.

Screen, and if warranted, search visitors or their belongings; deny visit to visitors who do not pass screen.

Supervise contact and/or non-contact visits in order to prevent smuggling of contraband or other unauthorized or illegal activities.

Admit/release visitors, including attorneys, clergy, and inmates’ visitors.

Search articles, packages, property, money left by visitors for inmates.

Monitor movement of vehicles within the facility or in the immediate area.

Compare information on visitor authorization forms prior to admitting visitors.

Provide security for non-inmate workers (e.g., maintenance, plumber, etc.) and account for security of tools and equipment.

Count inmates.

Verify inmate counts against roster, log, or computer-listed numbers.

Lock and unlock cells/dormitories and other gates/doors within facility.

Operate main gate(s) or sallyport(s) leading into facility, using a control panel.

Operate and control lights, power, and/or water, for cells/dormitories.

Check to see if each inmate is in his/her proper place; account for location and status of inmates.

Conduct facility security checks (e.g., cells/dorms, cell fixtures, bars, locks, windows, doors, kitchen equipment).

Conduct shakedown of cells/dorms and their contents.

Check/search facility for contraband, drugs, weapons, or other evidence or unauthorized or illegal activities.

Conduct pat search of inmates.

Conduct strip search of inmates.

Patrol areas within facility other than housing (e.g., halls).

Conduct outside/perimeter checks or perform outside/perimeter patrol duty.

Investigate disturbances or suspicious activities.

Identify, seize, preserve and/or dispose of evidence/contraband.

Identify, isolate and preserve crime scene.

Detain inmates who commit crimes in the facility.

Notify sender or receiver of seizure of unauthorized material (e.g., stickers, pornography, Polaroids, gang-related material).

Inspect cells/dorms and other areas for cleanliness.

Supervise cleaning of cells/dorms by inmates.

Supervise inmate workers working in facility areas (sweeping, cleaning, removing trash, working in kitchen, and doing laundry) or using equipment.

Supervise outside work details (e.g., vehicle maintenance, landscaping, road maintenance).

Instruct/train and supervise inmates in the safe use of tools and equipment, and in general safety procedures.

Inspect work equipment and work area for safety.

Observe inmate taking medication.

Record if inmate took or refused to take medication.

Feed/supervise inmate meals in cells or dormitories, verifying tray and/or utensil counts.

Release inmates for meals in dining hall at appropriate times.

Supervise inmate meals in dining hall, cafeteria, housing area, day room or food service area, monitoring and maintaining control, verifying tray and/or utensil counts.

Distribute/supervise distribution of commissary.

Accompany doctors or nurses during their medical rounds or visits to inmate.

Notify and prepare inmates for release or transfer.

Get inmates up and ready for work details, work furloughs, court, or hospitals (e.g., ensure proper dress, apply appropriate restraints).

Conduct/supervise clothing or bedding exchange.

Pass out and account for return of hygiene supplies (e.g., toothpaste, soap).

Supervise inmates’ phone calls.

Monitor (e.g., listen to/record) inmates phone calls.

Supervise and monitor behavior of inmates in exercise or recreation room or yard.

Select inmates to be designated as inmate workers.

Recommend/make inmate work assignments.

Supervise inmates in educational, vocational, recreational and other rehabilitative programs.

Supervise inmates in library (e.g., legal library) and issue supplies (e.g., pencils and stamps) to inmates.

Supervise inmates receiving haircuts or cosmetology services.

Open, search, and/or scan and log inmates’ mail.

Distribute mail to inmates or collect inmates’ outgoing mail.

Observe/monitor attitudes and conduct of inmates, watching for signs of potential disturbance, medical or psychiatric needs, or signs of drug or alcohol use.

Anticipate, monitor, and intervene in dispute between inmates (before a fight occurs).

Break up “horseplay.”

Respond to inmate request forms (e.g., inmate grievances, complaints, medical requests, etc.).

Apply “progressive inmate discipline.”

Read for inmates (such as documents, legal correspondence).

Conduct surveillance using closed circuit television.

Prevent unauthorized inmate communications.

Advise inmates on institutional regulations, service and sources of information.

Monitor for behavioral characteristics (e.g., violence, gang affiliation).

Videotape critical or potentially critical incidents for documentation purposes.

Notice subtle changes in individual inmate behavior patterns (e.g., change in eating or sleeping behavior).

Notice subtle changes in group inmate behavior patterns (e.g., noise levels, inmate interactions, etc.).

Place and observe inmates suffering from alcohol or drug withdrawal or mental health problems (e.g., placement in safety cells, sobering cells, restraints).

Evacuate inmates from area or facility (e.g., because of fire).

Maintain discipline without causing unnecessary tension in a situation.

Call into control room, post, or switchboard at required intervals.

Talk to officers of the prior or oncoming shift to acquire or pass on information.

Phone or otherwise report count to control, receive the “all clear” for the count.

Request (in writing or verbally) repair (e.g., for plumbing, broken equipment) from appropriate individual or department.

Call control or other appropriate area to inform them of inmate movement (e.g., inmate issued pass to go somewhere, inmates sent to dining hall).

Report suspicious activity inside or outside facility.

Report urgent situations (e.g., assault/fight, medical, fire).

Answer incoming phone calls, provide information (e.g., about facility policies, court procedures, individual prisoners, etc.), route calls, or take messages.

Answer questions/provide information to individuals visiting facility.

Answer questions/provide information to various regulatory agencies and commissions (e.g., Board of Corrections).

Conduct tours of the facility.

Communicate via radio, telephone, or intercom with control, inmates, or other personnel within facility.

Communicate orally with other corrections officers regarding operations within the facility.

Communicate orally with inmates in a language other than English.

Respond to inmates’ verbal questions or requests.

Monitor outside radio (e.g., county radio, patrol car radio, transport radio) for information relevant to facility operations (e.g., recent arrests).

Dispatch help in emergencies or disturbances within the facility.

Respond to and dispatch help for emergencies outside facility (e.g., requests for assistance from other law enforcement agencies).

Make announcements/give information over P.A. or paging system.

Communicate directly with court personnel (e.g., court clerk) regarding dispositions, appearances, etc.

Testify in court.

Interview inmates applying to alternative sentencing programs.

Determine an inmate’s eligibility for alternative sentencing programs.

Make field checks of inmates in alternative sentencing programs.

Gather information from inmates about conflicts or personal problems.

Informally counsel inmates (e.g., regarding conduct, discipline, etc.).

Conduct communications checks (such as with designated posts or radio systems).

Instruct/train inmates in learning work-related skills not related to custody jobs (e.g., sewing, janitorial).

Conduct on-the-job training for new correctional personnel.

Give instructions/directions orally to individual inmates.

Give instructions/directions orally to groups of inmates.

Conduct formal or structured counseling sessions with inmates individually.

Conduct on-the-spot (crisis intervention) counseling with inmates.

Maintain radio contact with units in the field; dispatch units as necessary.

Verbally discourage “horseplay.”

Pursue inmates on foot (running).

Walk or stand for long periods of time.

Sit for long periods of time.

Run to the scene of a disturbance or emergency.

Operate electronic gates, doors, or locks manually when the electronic mechanisms fail.

Physically subdue or restrain a resisting inmate by yourself.

Physically subdue or restrain a resisting inmate with the help of one or more other corrections officers.

Physically subdue or restrain an attacking inmate by yourself.

Physically subdue or restrain an attacking inmate with the help of another correctional person.

Physically separate two fighting inmates yourself.

Physically separate two fighting inmates with the help of another correctional person.

Defend self against an inmate armed with a weapon.

Disarm and subdue an inmate armed with a weapon.

Search areas for contraband that are not easily accessible (e.g., under beds; in, behind, and around large equipment, vehicles).

Carry heavy objects (e.g., disabled/unconscious inmate or piece of equipment).

Lift heavy objects (e.g., disabled/unconscious inmate or piece of equipment).

Drag heavy objects (e.g., disabled/unconscious inmate or piece of equipment).

Push hard-to-move objects by hand (e.g., piece of equipment).

Pull self up over obstacles.

Jump over obstacles.

Use body force to gain entrance through barriers (e.g., locked doors).

Climb up to elevated surfaces (e.g., roof).

Jump down from elevated surfaces.

Balance self on uneven or narrow surfaces.

Crawl in confined areas (e.g., attics).

Climb through openings (e.g., windows).

Secure and segregate inmates who commit crimes in the facility.

Handcuff a non-resisting inmate.

Handcuff a resisting inmate.

Apply other restraint devices (e.g., leg irons, travel chains, belly chains, leather restraints, etc.) to a non-resisting inmate.

Apply other restraint devices (e.g., leg irons, travel chains, belly chains, leather restraints, restraint chair, restraint wrap, etc.) to a resisting inmate.

Climb one or more flights of stairs.

Run up one or more flights of stairs.

Run down one or more flights of stairs.

Climb up and down stationary ladders.

Climb up and down extension ladders.

Perform cell extractions.

Operate “man-lift” equipment.

Defend oneself or others using lethal force.

Defend oneself or others using less lethal force (e.g., sting ball, taser, .37mm, OC spray).

Listen for unusual sounds or sounds that may indicate illegal activity or disturbance (e.g., whispering, scuffling, sudden quiet or change in noise level, horn honking, rattling of chain link fence).

Watch for indications of illegal activity or disturbance in relative darkness.

Watch for indications of illegal activity or disturbance in normal lighting.

Perform CPR.

Render first aid other than CPR.

Investigate accidents or crimes that occur within the facility (e.g., conduct interviews of witnesses and suspects).

Make arrests or charge inmates or others (e.g., visitors) who commit crimes within the facility.

Attend and participate in training programs, classes, and seminars.

Conduct formal individual or group training programs, classes, or seminars for correctional personnel.

Attend staff meetings or confer with supervisors concerning facility operations/functioning.

Serve on inmate disciplinary review boards (to review recommended disciplinary action before it is administered to inmate).

Assist in search for missing/escaped inmates, inside or outside of the facility.

Respond to emergencies (e.g., call for backup).

Extinguish or help extinguish fires.

Read internal memos, correspondence, reports, emails.

Read daily journal/log.

Read facility rules, procedures, regulations, and other formal written materials relevant to job performance.

Read court documents and other legal documents (e.g., penal code).

Act as court bailiff.

Give assignments and/or instructions to correctional facility support personnel.

Follow oral instructions from supervisors and others.

Observe the work of other facility personnel and give feedback directly to the individual.

Coach, train, or assist in training non-correctional personnel (e.g., medical staff, booking clerks).

Schedule the work of other detention facility personnel.

Gather information necessary to effect administrative and disciplinary transfers.

Establish inmate informants.

Obtain and secure urine samples.

Make suggestions regarding changes in policies, procedures, or rules.

Clean up and dispose of contaminated or hazardous material (e.g., blood, broken glass, feces).

Requisition and stock jail supplies.

Maintain and/or periodically update handbooks.

Conduct on-the-job training for new correctional personnel.

Drive an automobile other than to transport inmates.

Drive other vehicles (e.g., pick-up trucks, shuttle carts), other than to transport inmates.

Conduct closed circuit video arraignments.