PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Department of Corrections is encouraging residents from all backgrounds to apply to become correctional officers.
On Wednesday, the DOC kicked off its recruitment campaign for the 83rd class of the training academy.
Director of the DOC Patricia Coyne-Fague said while the job can be difficult, her core message was simple: “We need you.”
Coyne-Fague said the duties of a correctional officer include safeguarding the custody and well-being of inmates, supervising their conduct, maintaining order and providing discipline and/or rehabilitation when applicable.
The selection process includes a physical fitness test, a written exam, a background check, interviews and other screenings. If selected, recruits will go through 12 weeks of training. Once hired, the starting salary is $52,656 plus benefits.
Though it’s a good-paying job with great benefits, Coyne-Fague said it’s also a rewarding career where applicants can make a true difference in an inmate’s rehabilitation.
“The officer sets an example of what law-abiding, pro-social behavior looks like,” and sets the example for a convict’s life once he or she leaves prison, she said.
For those interested, a series of six informational sessions are scheduled through the end of the month.
Pre-registration for the sessions at least two days in advance is required. To pre-register, call (401) 462-2697.
The information sessions take place from Jan. 12-26:
- Saturday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m.
- Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m.
- Thursday, Jan. 17 at 4 p.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.
- Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m.
Jim Vincent, the president of the Providence branch of the NAACP, said minimums like 30% of people of color in an applicant class have been surpassed. He challenged recruiters to make that 50% with this year’s class of recruits, as well as bringing in a significant representation of female recruits.
Vincent was joined by directors of local groups including Progreso Latino, the Rhode Island Indian Council, the Center for South East Asians and the Women’s Fund of RI. All of the groups encouraged members of their communities to step up and apply.
Gov. Gina Raimondo echoed the encouragement, saying she is excited to see the new class of recruits.
“We need people who are physically talented, intellectually capable, tough, resilient; committed to the cause of criminal justice, and passionate about what they do. And hard-working,” she said.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid photo ID and a social security card or alien registration card, possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and be fluent in English. Living in Rhode Island is not a requirement.
The last day applications will be accepted is Feb. 3.
Anyone with questions about the training academy can call (401) 462-JOBS.