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Career Profile: Prison Warden


Prison wardens are head administrators of adult correctional facilities. They manage the day-to-day operations of correctional facilities or prison, ensuring that specific laws and regulations are strictly enforced. Wardens are responsible in supervising public funds, securing public safety, and meeting the needs of thousands of people housed in a complex institution. Prison wardens also keep the prisoners secure within the facilities.

Prison wardens should meet the required educational and work experience. A college degree in law enforcement, corrections, criminal justice, or psychology is usually required, but courses in administration, business and law are also helpful. Wardens begin their careers as a corrections officer or probation officer. After acquiring the required education, experience, and training, correction officers can advance to the position of warden.

Wardens are trained both in administration and law enforcement. They should also have experience in management or administration in other jobs, even outside the law enforcement field. A background in law enforcement and experience as a police officer, investigator or criminologist is beneficial when working your way up to prison warden.

The National Institute of Corrections offers training for wardens to make them ready for the basic institutional and administrative institutional skills to efficiently manage a prison. There are different stages of training necessary, starting with fundamental supervisor course, a bachelor's degree or equivalent to 100 hours of management and organization training. A master's degree in supervision or administration is also required, or an equivalent of 50 hours of supervision and management training, in addition to other supplementary trainings and programs. Furthermore, it is also required for the prison warden to render an annual minimum of 40 hours for additional on-the-job training to keep the certificate.

How does a prison warden spend his workday?
  • A prison warden usually starts his day with a staff meeting to know what happened while he was out of the office.
  • During the meeting, the warden also notes any concerns or problems of the inmates that needs to be addressed, such as the transfer of an inmate to another facility.
  • He visits cell blocks or inmate housing units.
  • He makes sure that prisoners are provided with their needs, such as food, clothes, and programs.
  • Wardens also make phone calls to the family of an inmate or take calls from anxious crime victims who ask for updates on the status of the prisoner.
  • Wardens also coordinate the death sentence of an inmate. He provides the inmate with a chaplain, the last meal, and other rights in accordance with the law. He also supervises the training session how to carry out the death procedure to make sure there will be no mistakes are made while performing the sentence.

Average salaries of prison wardens vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits. Prison wardens make a starting salary of $43,000 per year. This salary will continue to increase as wardens gain more experience and years of service. Some wardens of large prison systems make over $100,000 per year.

Read More about this topic:
Bachelor Degree Programs in Criminal Justice/Corrections
Career Profile: Correctional Officer
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