A prison warden manages prisons and correctional institutions’ operations to include the enforcement of prison policies and budget. They ensure the staff is safe and comply with state regulations, to have the proper treatment of inmates. They also provide all facility inspections when
How to Become a Prison Warden
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 pass a polygraph test, drug test, and background examination. Coursework usually includes criminology, legal studies, sociology, psychology, management courses, and even forensic sciences, pending on what degree you are seeking.
Most prison wardens start as a correctional officer and transition into becoming a prison warden later in their career. Employers prefer that you have extensive experience before becoming a warden. Therefore it is recommended that you seek employment as a correction officer, probation officer, police officer, crime scene investigation, or some law enforcement career before looking to become a warden. A lot of these programs are offered through vocational schools or community colleges. They vary in length and can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Other characteristics that prison wardens have are flexibility, personable rapport, good-mannered, resourceful, and determined. Additionally, they should have management/supervision skills, reading, listening, problem-solving, and negotiation. Knowledge of current standards and theory within the corrections and judicial systems is also essential for this position.
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Job Description of a Prison Warden
A prison warden typically supervises a prison facility, including the employees and inmates. Responsibilities include all of the operations of training, hiring, promotions, and discipline. They set policies, budgets, and prison programs. They must then also ensure that those rules and guidelines are enforced and followed by staff and inmates. Prison wardens also oversee inspections to determine the need for repairs, new equipment, proper security systems, and equipment inventory.
They must ensure that prison staff are prepared for various emergency scenarios, including everything from a riot, severe weather, or even a staff member taken hostage. Therefore, this means a prison warden must ensure prison staff are prepared and can efficiently react to any emergency at any time. This responsibility can make this a stressful career as they must continuously be on top of safety, operations, and inmate rehabilitation at all times.
Prison wardens usually work in an office; however, they spend time in other prison areas overseeing inmates and staff. They do full-time hours and work for the state or federal government and private sectors. At times they may work with outside organizations or the national guard when emergencies occur. Prisons are open 24 hours; therefore, their hours can vary pending on what is needed. This job is very stressful, and one must have a high tolerance for a lot of responsibility regarding the safety of all individuals that fall under their facility, including inmates.