A prison warden manages the operations of prisons and correctional institutions to include the enforcement of prison polices and budget. They ensure the staff is save and that they complies with state regulations, to include the proper treatment of inmates. They also ensure all facility inspections take place, necessary repairs are complete, and an effective emergency response is in place.
How to Become a Prison Warden
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
Though not a formal requirement, most wardens have a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, corrections, business management, sociology, justice administrations, or criminal justice. Also, so you have no surprises when applying for a position, you must be able to pass a polygraph test, drug test, and background examination.
Step 2: Gain Experience
Though most prison wardens may have a bachelor’s degree, you also need to gain experience managing correctional facilities as well. It’s also common for a prison warden to begin their career as a correctional officer. This experience provides you first-hand knowledge of inmate psychology and institutional behavior. In fact, a report given by the Tennessee Department of Corrections show that most wardens have a least a bachelor’s degree and 15-30 years of correction experience.
Job Description of a Prison Warden
A prison warden typically manages the entire prison facility including the employees and inmates at every level. This includes the operations of training, hiring, promotions, discipline, and all other aspects of the prison. They set policies, budgets, and prison programs. They must then also ensure that those rules and policies are enforced and followed by staff and inmates. Prison wardens also oversee inspections to determine the need for repairs, new equipment, the proper operation of security systems, and monitoring equipment.
The prison staff must also be prepared for various emergency scenarios which could include everything from a riot, severe weather, or even a staff member taken hostage. This means a prison warden must ensure prison staff are prepared and can efficiently react to any emergency situation at any time. This responsibility can make this a stressful career as they must constantly be on top of safety, operations, and inmate rehabilitation at all times.
Accountant Job Posting
Let’s look at a job description posted by the National Park Service. This job announcement is looking for a person to perform the following responsibilities:
As the SES Warden at the Federal Correctional Institution, Edgefield, South Carolina, the incumbent is responsible for the overall management of a federal prison, the mission of which is the safekeeping, care, protection, discipline, programming, and release of approximately 1900 inmates charged with or convicted of offenses against the United States. Many of these inmates have complex sentences and have compiled serious records of institution misconduct which indicate they require stringent security measures.
Under the general direction of the Regional Director, incumbent is delegated full authority and responsibility for carrying out the directives of the federal courts and the Attorney General. Incumbent is responsible for all administrative functions of the institution, including planning and coordinating all programs related to security, discipline, etc., and developmental issues with regard to federal inmates. To receive serious consideration, applicants for this position must demonstrate successful performance and creative leadership in senior management position(s).
This position was posted to run 01/15/2019 until 01/30/2019 with a salary range of $126,148 to $189,600 per year on USAjobs.gov (link opens in a new tab). USAjobs.gov is an official website of the United States government and part of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.