Administrator Challenges Paper

Select a functional role in one of the three major areas of criminal justice administration–police, courts, or corrections–and describe what you consider the major issues and satisfactions of that particular role. Has this course helped prepare you? If not, what might improve the course?


As a functional role in the area of corrections, I would select the position of a Correctional Officer. Correctional officers play a critical role in maintaining safety and security within correctional facilities while also facilitating the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates. Below, I’ll discuss the major issues and satisfactions associated with this role, and evaluate how this course has helped prepare for it.

Major Issues:

  1. Safety and Security: Correctional officers face significant challenges related to maintaining safety and security within correctional facilities. This includes managing potentially violent or aggressive inmates, preventing escapes, and responding to incidents such as riots or assaults.
  2. Overcrowding and Staffing Shortages: Many correctional facilities are overcrowded, leading to increased tension among inmates and placing additional strain on staff. Staffing shortages further exacerbate these issues, making it difficult for correctional officers to effectively supervise and manage inmate populations.
  3. Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Correctional officers often encounter inmates with mental health issues or substance abuse disorders. Addressing the needs of these individuals requires specialized training and resources, and failure to do so can result in escalated conflicts or self-harm incidents.
  4. Recidivism: Despite efforts to promote rehabilitation, recidivism rates remain high among former inmates. Correctional officers may feel frustrated by the lack of resources or support available to help inmates successfully reintegrate into society and avoid reoffending.


  1. Positive Impact on Inmates: Correctional officers have the opportunity to positively influence the lives of inmates by providing guidance, support, and encouragement. Building rapport with inmates and assisting them in making positive changes can be highly rewarding.
  2. Teamwork and Camaraderie: Correctional officers often develop strong bonds with their colleagues as they work together to address challenges and ensure the safety and well-being of both inmates and staff. The sense of teamwork and camaraderie can foster a supportive work environment.
  3. Professional Development: Working in corrections provides opportunities for professional development and advancement. Correctional officers may pursue additional training or education to enhance their skills and qualifications, leading to career growth and advancement opportunities.

Preparation from the Course: While this course has provided valuable insights into the criminal justice system as a whole, including the role of corrections, it may not have fully prepared individuals for the specific challenges and responsibilities of a correctional officer. To improve the course’s preparation for this role, the following enhancements could be considered:

  1. Practical Training: Incorporating hands-on training or simulations that simulate real-life scenarios faced by correctional officers would provide students with a more realistic understanding of the role and its challenges.
  2. Guest Speakers: Inviting guest speakers who are currently working or have experience as correctional officers to share their insights and experiences would provide valuable perspectives and practical advice.
  3. Case Studies: Integrating case studies or scenarios specific to corrections would allow students to analyze and discuss common issues faced by correctional officers and explore potential solutions.
  4. Field Visits: Organizing field visits to correctional facilities would give students the opportunity to observe firsthand the day-to-day operations and interact with correctional officers in their work environment.
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