Correctional officers and bailiffs held about 474,800 jobs in 2014. Correctional officers and jailers held about 457,600 jobs in 2014. Bailiffs held about 17,300 jobs in 2014. About 95 percent of correctional officers and bailiffs worked for federal, state, and local governments. The remainder were employed by private companies that provide correctional services to prisons and jails.
Correctional officers may work indoors or outdoors. Some correctional institutions are modern and temperature controlled, but others are old, overcrowded, hot, and noisy.
Correctional officers may be required to stand for long periods. Bailiffs generally work in courtrooms.
Injuries and Illnesses
Working in a correctional institution can be stressful and dangerous. Every year, correctional officers are injured in confrontations with inmates and some are exposed to contagious diseases. As a result, correctional officers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Bailiffs work with prisoners, who may become violent.
The job demands that officers be alert and ready to react throughout their entire shift. As a result, some officers experience anxiety.
Correctional officers usually work 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, on rotating shifts. Because jail and prison security must be provided around the clock, officers work all hours of the day and night, weekends and holidays. Some correctional facilities have longer shifts and more days off between scheduled workweeks. Many officers are required to work overtime. Bailiffs' hours are determined by when court is in session.