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A Column of News & Comment by Senator James L. Seward

As young people consider their futures, some may want to think about working for New York State in various positions of law enforcement and correctional services.

The state periodically has openings in law enforcement (state police, park police, university police, environmental conservation, and corrections). New York’s prisons, which range from minimum to maximum security, need reliable, qualified individuals to serve as corrections officers. Crime is generally down in our state for several reasons.  The legislature has created new laws that deter crime and our police work extremely hard to make our communities safe. But we will always have the need to incarcerate those who violate our laws, and we will need people to operate our prisons.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will be hiring thousands of new correction officers over the next few years.  If you want to be one of them, you must sign up for the Civil Service Evaluation for Training and Experience scheduled for July and August. The filing deadline for the examination is August 31, 2020.

A correction officer works in facilities of the NYS Department of Correctional Services located throughout the state. Under the direct supervision of a higher-ranking officer, correction officers are responsible for the custody and security, as well as safety and well-being, of criminal offenders in state correctional facilities and camps. Officers supervise the movement and activities of inmates, make periodic rounds of assigned areas, conduct searches for contraband; maintain order within the facility, and prepare reports as necessary. Officers advise inmates on the rules and regulations governing the operation of the facility and assist them in resolving problems. Officers have a high degree of responsibility for their actions and decisions and play a key role in the rehabilitative process related to the incarcerated population. Some officers may be required to carry firearms in the performance of certain duties and to perform other related work as required.

Working for New York State in law enforcement is a very rewarding career, and the state is lucky to have a terrific workforce of capable law enforcement and corrections personnel. Along with career advancement opportunities, our correction officers take pride in the critical role they play in protecting the citizens of our state.

A trainee’s starting salary is currently $43,937 per year. After six months, the salary increases to $46,214.  Additional compensation is available depending on shift, work hours, and location. Various benefits, such as health and life insurance, and retirement benefits, are also available. Candidates must pass a background check. Candidates must be 21 years of age before the date of their appointments.

Applicants are required to participate in, and satisfactorily complete, all requirements of a 12-month training program before they can advance to correction officer. As part of the program, officers attend the correctional services training academy for a minimum of eight weeks of formal training. Paid training at the academy will include academic courses in such areas as emergency response procedures, interpersonal communication, legal rights, and responsibilities security procedures and concepts and issues in corrections.

After successful completion of the one-year correction officer traineeship, which ends one year after the employee’s date of initial appointment to the department’s training academy, the salary increases to $52,919 per year.

Interested persons may apply on-line or download examination information and applications at the Department of Civil Service’s website  Additional information about the position of correction officer is also available through the Department of Correctional Services website at   In keeping with the state’s commitment to diversity in the workforce, the department is especially hopeful that women and minorities will apply. Again, applications must be postmarked by August 31.  Interested individuals may also apply online.

Other state positions are available from time to time, and interested applicants should routinely check the Department of Civil Service website at