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Salary: $36,104 per year

General Statement of Duties

Performs responsible correctional and detention work in the County Detention Center.

Distinguishing Features of the Class

Employees in this class perform inmate detention, care, security, intake and release work in accordance with established policies and procedures.  Work includes the observation and accompaniment of inmates inside the jail, serving meals, medical staff escort, related care and record keeping requirements.  Employees must exercise independent initiative and judgement in making decision regarding inmates and their custody, with suicidal, violent, or mentally unstable tendencies, and in dealing with attorneys, families, and others.  Work involves exercising tact, firmness, and decisiveness in handling routine and emergency situations.  Employees are subject to hazards in law enforcement work including working inside a jail environment and exposure to various hazards such as dangerous persons, loud noises, and hazards such as cleaning chemicals, close quarters, and narrow passages.  Work is also subject to the final OSHA standards on blood borne pathogens.  Work is performed under regular supervision and is reviewed for adherence to regulations and procedures, accuracy of paperwork, adherence to schedules, and effective interpersonal skills and decision-making in dealing with inmates and coworkers.

Essential Duties and Tasks

  • Processes incoming inmates, completes necessary intake paperwork, searches prisoners, obtains and secures inmates’ personal property, assigns and escorts inmates to proper holding facilities, advises inmates of detention center rules and regulations.
  • Operates electronic doors to pods, in and out of facility and in and out of individual cells; observes video screens of all aspects of the detention facility for security issues.
  • Changes out inmate’s uniforms; escorts medical staff; counts inmates; passes out mail and property; conducts searches periodically for contraband materials; oversees inmate recreation.
  • Arranges contacts by visits or telephone calls between inmates and relatives, court officials, ministers, and attorneys; escorts inmates to visiting rooms.
  • Answers telephone and radio, inspects incoming and outgoing mail.
  • Distributes medication, personal hygiene items, meals, linens, clothing, mail, and other items to inmates; checks on intoxicated and other inmates in special medical or mental conditions.
  • Prepares inmates for court.
  • Supervises inmates in the cleaning of cells, cleaning of kitchens, office areas, clothes, and linens.
  • Maintains accurate and detailed records on work and inmate activities.
  • Transports inmates to court, other detention facilities, medical and mental health treatment, and other trips if necessary.
  • Provides canteen and meets other needs.

Additional Job Duties

Performs related work as required.

Recruitment and Selection Guidelines

Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities

  • Working knowledge of federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertaining to inmate
  • sentencing, pre-trial conditions and release.
  • Working knowledge of policies and procedures covering inmate security, classification, care, and discipline.
  • Working knowledge of the application and use of information technology to the work.
  • Working knowledge of the practices, materials and equipment used in cleaning and maintaining buildings and equipment.
  • Skill in collaborative conflict resolution and de-escalation tactics.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgement in routine and emergency situations and solve day to day problems effectively.
  • Ability to work in a hazardous and confining environment.
  • Ability to deal tactfully and firmly with inmates, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, family members and the general public.
  • Ability to prepare and maintain accurate records manually and in a computerized environment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective work relationships with the supervisors, other employees, law enforcement and court personnel, and the general public.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to physically perform the basic life operational functions of climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions.
  • Must be able to perform medium work exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
  • Must possess visual acuity to prepare records and reports; observe people and things for security purposes, and operate electronic control panels and view computer screens.


Desirable Education and Experience

Graduation from high school supplemented by detention officer certification training.

Special Requirement

Compliance with minimum standards for training and certification as set by the state of North Carolina for detention center personnel.

Special Note:  This generic class description gives an overview of the job class, its essential job functions, and recommended job requirements.  However, for each individual position assigned to this class, there is available a completed job questionnaire with a physical abilities checklist which can give further details about  that one specific position.  Those documents should be reviewed before initiating a selection process.  They can provide additional detailed information on which to base various personnel action and  can assist management in making legal and defensible personnel decisions.

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