Corrections Essay

Limitations on Officers

There are many limitations placed on correctional officers. They must not only abide by the laws of the state in which they are employed, but also with the rules and regulations specific to the facility in which they are working. Inmates obviously have rights taken away once they become incarcerated, but they are still required basic human rights that are protected by the United States constitution. These basic right’s which must not be infringed upon is; to be free of inhumane treatment, such as cruel and unusual punishment.

They must remain free from sexual harassment and sex crimes from not only correctional officers, but other inmates as well. They have the right to voice their concerns about the conditions of the jail or prison in which they are houses. All reasonable accommodations must be met for inmates with disabilities. They are entitled to receive not only medical care, but mental health care as well. They have the right to be free from discrimination, as well as their right to retain their first amendment rights just so long as it doesn’t impede on their status as an inmate.

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They cannot interfere with the order, discipline, and security of the correctional facility.

Rights Vs. Safety

An inmate’s constitutional rights and safety are two of the most important things to maintain. At one prison word got around that two rival gangs were going to hash things out in one of the chapels. Once the director of programming found out her had a hard choice to make: should he cancel church and infringe on the inmates first amendment right or potentially put not only inmates and guards but dozens of religious volunteers at risk? He chose to cancel services for a week, and there ultimately ended up being a knife fight among those gangs in a different area of the prison. In situations like this if it for the safety based on legitimate intel, they can infringe upon those rights with still being within their own rights. Unfortunately, correctional officers face these hard decisions daily.

Community Supervision

Probation and parole are both forms of community supervision in lieu of incarceration. Many people think that if you are under community supervision that you are free, but you must follow many rules and the violation of these rules will likely put in you in jail or prison. In order to be on community supervision, you must follow the conditions of the court, which vary. These conditions can include: reporting in person to the correct offices, supervision programs, not leaving the state or even the county without permission, finding and keeping a job, needing permission before moving or switching jobs, no drugs or alcohol, no entering an establishment that serves alcohol, may not own a firearm or have one in your possession, not having contact with other known criminals, agreeing to random drug tests, paying all fees associated, electronic monitoring and obeying all laws, amongst others.


Inmates, however, have many more restrictions than those on community supervision. They have set meal times and unless they have money in their commissary that is all they eat. They must wake up at a certain time and have their lights out by a certain time. They are only allowed to use the phones during a certain period of the day, and only for a certain amount of time. Visitation is at preset times and it is likely that if they get in trouble for any reason their visitation, as well as phone privileges will be taken away. Some facilities will not allow you to be in your bed during the daytime, only laying on top if it. If you are incarcerated, you will be showering in a shower stall with many other inmates. When you get booked you will also probably only be able to bring in a few white garments of clothing, everything else will need to be purchased from the commissary, such as shampoo, soap, and deodorant.

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