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Hiring Hoosiers: What it takes to be a corrections officer

Posted: 7:56 AM, Mar 12, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-12 07:56:00-04
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Hiring Hoosiers is an initiative from RTV6 that works to connect Hoosiers to employment opportunities, career development resources, training programs and educational paths. Learn more about Hiring Hoosiers and see new stories weekdays at 6 a.m. on RTV6.

INDIANAPOLIS — Fairness, firmness, and consistency those are the three main traits it takes to be a successful Corrections Officer.

"It's a great career, it provides for your family, and there is a lot of room for growth and advancement," said Major Michael Conyers.

The job of a corrections officer is not an easy one, but it is a necessary one.

"It's always going to be here. This job is never going to go anywhere. It's a secure job," said Calvin Quarrier, a corrections officer.

The Pendleton Correctional Facility is hiring, and they say the job is not what is portrayed on TV.

"What you see on tv is not what transpires every day. Some days it can be TV and some days it's not. For the most part, we are just trying to make sure the guys are safe," said Terra Howard, she's been a Corrections Officer for almost five years.

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FIND JOBS | Find open positions in central Indiana with the Hiring Hoosiers job board |

As a female officer, Howard says, working in the men's prison has come with some challenges.

"You just have to be strong-headed; don't wear your feelings on your sleeve and be able to say no, not be easily offended," said Howard.

But, the challengers are easier to overcome because of those she works alongside.

"When I graduated from college, I was looking for stability, and when I came to corrections, I have literally developed a second family," said Howard.

Eric Hammond is a veteran member of that family, with 20 years working at Pendleton Corrections. He monitors the yard with his k-9 Indy.

"I really enjoy k9 work it's been a big part of my life it's something that has kept me going each day, and I really like the staff I work with," said Hammond.
For those looking at a career in corrections, Hammond advises keeping an open mind.

"When you first get, it is overwhelming. It really is there is a lot going on the longer you stay here the easier it gets. You build a rapport with the offenders you build comradery with your staff, and it does get easier," said Hammond.

Corrections officers start out at $16 an hour, full benefits, paid time off, plus the facility offers a tuition forgiveness program.

"It is a good career opportunity virtually everybody warden on down started as a corrections officer so you can advance as high as you are willing to put in the effort and energy," said Hammond.

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