Correctional Officer Statistics

Correctional Officer Statistics

2007 Correctional Statistics

Who Are Correctional Officers?

77.7% male, 22.3% female

69.5% white, 20.8% black, 5.7% Hispanic

80.5% are between the ages of 30 – 44

63.9% have some college experience,25% have a college degree, 19%
Bachelors, 4.5% Masters, 1.5% Ph.D.

Correctional Officers (CO’s) have the second highest mortality rate of
any occupation.

33.5% of all assaults in prisons and jails are committed by inmates
against staff.

A CO’s 58th birthday, on average, is their last.

A CO will be seriously assaulted at least twice in a 20 year career.

On average a CO will live only 18 months after retirement.

CO’s have a 39% higher suicide rate than any other occupation,

And have a higher divorce and substance abuse rates then the general

“Stress Management for the Professional Correctional Officer”, Donald
Steele, Ph.D., Steele Publishing 2001

-“Corrections Yearbook 2000, 2002”, Criminal Justice Institute,
Middletown, CT
-“Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 2003”, Bureau of Justice
-Statistics, 31st edition, NCJ 208756

-“Suicide Risk Among Correctional Officers”, Archives of Suicide
Research, Stack, S.J., & Tsoudis, O. 1997
-Metropolitan Life Actuarial Statistics, 1998
-Society of Actuaries, 1994

33,000 inmate on staff assaults per year
90 assaults per day, 3.7 per hour
2.7 staff assaults per 100 inmates – county
1.4 staff assaults per 100 inmates – state
0.9 staff assaults per 100 inmates – federal
A Correctional Officer will be seriously assaulted at least twice in a
20 year career

-Corrections Yearbook 2000, 2002 Criminal Justice Institute, Middletown
-US Government Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 31st Edition,
US Department of Justice, Washington DC

Beyond the Walls

Correctional Officers are finding themselves under attack even off the

August 7, 2007 NJ Correctional Officer Eugene Braswell is shot while
sitting on his front steps by Wali Williams a former inmate where
Braswell worked. Braswell returns fire and kills the inmate.

April 19, 2002 Jail Officer Michael Sheehan from Westchester, NY is
assaulted by a former inmate while leaving a restaurant. Officer
Sheehan’s injuries were so severe he cannot work in corrections again.

December 31, 1996 Virginia Officer Amos Williams is robbed and murdered
in a K-Mart parking lot. When the robbers see his Peace Officer ID
witnesses say they shot him in the head.

April 19, 1996 Shelby County, Tennessee Jail Officer III Deadrick
Taylor is gunned down in front of his house and murdered in front of his
wife and child. Officer Taylor had placed a gang member on lock down
status. He was murdered by four members of the Traveling Vice Lords
using assault rifles and .38 and .25 caliber pistols

An Unhealthy Occupation

“Of the hundreds of Correctional Officers I have treated, 60% of their
anxiety and stress can be attributed to the Administration, 15% from
inmates, 15% from other staff and 10% from personal issues. Also I am
noticing more PTSD in officers from previous trauma than for those who
have been in wars. ” -Donald Steele, Ph.D.

“Take a look around you, in five years 80% of you won’t be working
here. This job takes its toll. It’s not for everyone” -Lt. Gordon
MA DOC, May 1982

Inmates In Custody

The number of inmates in state custody has increased 30.45% from 1995
to 2006.

The number of inmates in our nation’s county jails increased 51.07%
during that same ten year period.

State Inmates County Inmates
§Suicide Rates 14/100,000 47/100,000
Homicide Rates 4/100,000 3/100,000
AIDS/HIV USA 0.5% 1.8%
AIDS New York 7.0% 6.4%
Mental Health Issues 56% 64%
Psychotic Disorder 15% 24

* Nearly half of all jail suicides (48%) take place in the first week
of custody.

-“Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates” Bureau of Justice
Statistics, Sept. 2006 NCJ 21360
-“Suicide and Homicide Rates in Sate Prisons and Local Jails” BJS Aug.
2005 NCJ 210036
-“HIV in Prisons, 2004: BJS, Nov. 2006 NCJ 213897
-“Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006” BJS, NCJ 217675

Inmates with Mental Health Issues

Midyear 2005
§ 45% of federal inmates
§ 56% of state inmates
§ 64% of county inmates

There were 479,900 county inmates found to have mental health issues at
midyear 2005.
§ 54% were reported to show symptoms of Mania
§ 30% were reported to show symptoms of Major Depression
§ 20% were reported to show symptoms of a Psychotic Disorder

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Mental Health Problems of Prison
and Jail Inmates” NCJ213600 Sept., 2006


In 1999* the national average of the inmate population with AIDS/HIV
was 2.1%.

The rate of AIDS/HIV in the general population in 1999 was 0.12%

In 1999 New York county jails had identified 1,359 confirmed cases of
AIDS/HIV. A rate of 4.3% of the ADP. Only Washington, DC had a higher
rate (7.6)

-Bureau of Justice Statistics, “HIV in Prisons 2004”, NCJ 213897
November 2006
-Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 31st Edition, US Department
of Justice, Washington DC
-* JAIL AIDS/HIV statistics are only available once every five or six
years. The next report by the DOJ is due to be released in the spring of

Percentage of inmates identified as gang members:

11.7% of all federal inmates
13.4% of all state inmates
15.6% of all county inmates (approx 114,000 inmates)

1/3 of all violent incidents in prisons and jails are estimated to be
gang related.

There are over 1,600 identified STG’s in our prisons and jails. (STG =
Security Threat Groups, prison parlance for Gangs)

– 2005 National Gang Threat Assessment, National Alliance of Gang
Investigators Associations, 2005


Statistics are not yet available regarding the impact that terrorism is
having on the country’s prisons and jails and the inmate population.

We do know that the existence of terrorists within our correctional
systems necessitates an expansion of the training a Correctional Officer
will need in certain screening and observation skills.

The destabilization of the inmate population by fundamentalist
organization makes a Correctional Officers job that much more dangerous.
Terrorist are just another in a long lists of issues today’s
Correctional Officers must deal with.


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