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How to Become a Correctional Officer in New Jersey

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Correctional officers in the state of New Jersey go through intensive screening in the recruitment process. Officers are responsible for maintaining a safe, orderly prison environment for inmates, and can face demanding and threatening situations while on the job. It is especially important as a candidate to demonstrate physical and emotional readiness to meet the demanding labors of this job. To ensure candidates can perform well in the position, an intensive training program is required for applicants that pass all selection requirements.

Meet the baseline academic and age requirements. To qualify for a correctional officer job, you will need to possess a high school diploma and be at least 18 years of age.

Establish residency and license requirements for the state of New Jersey. Your residency status in New Jersey must be for at least six months. Ensure that your driver's license is active and in good standing.

Confirm eligibility to possess a firearm in New Jersey. Upon hire, correctional officers will have access to firearms in their job function. Consult state laws to determine if you have any background issues that may prevent you from acquiring a license to carry a firearm.

Fill out an employment application for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. These applications are usually made available every two years in conjunction with the Department of Personnel's Law Enforcement examination. Applications are available at all correctional facilities, public libraries, employment offices, and on the state of New Jersey website.

Pass the psychological evaluation and background check. Requirements for the screening process will include a drug test, fingerprinting and a personal interview.

Pass the physical examination. This step will be completed as vacancies within the department become available.

Enter the Corrections Staff Training Academy. If you have passed all the requirements and are eligible for employment, you may be hired as an officer trainee. Trainees participate in the program for 14 weeks. You will be required to stay at the academy and will be eligible for a bi-weekly stipend until you complete the program. After successfully completing the requirements at the academy, you will be appointed as a correctional officer recruit.


CL Hardy is a communication professional based in Austin, Texas. In addition to writing corporate newsletters, proposals and technical white papers for Fortune 500 clients for more than 12 years, Hardy has been published in "Black Collegian" magazine; her articles on human resources, business and art topics can be found on eHow. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in communication.

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