Prison Life - Glossary of Terms and Staff Titles
When you first experience the prison system, you may come in contact with a variety of staff and hear a number of unfamiliar terms. A full searchable glossary of terms used in Department policies is available online.
The following provides a brief overview of staff roles within a prison:
Correctional Officer (CO)
The role of the Correctional Officer is to assist in controlling, directing and monitoring the movements and activities of inmates. They make sure prison rules are followed, ensuring the safety and security of inmates, staff, visitors and the community. As a visitor, you will frequently come in contact with Correctional Officers.
Correctional Sergeants supervise Correctional Officers and perform custody work, which involves providing safety and securityas well as controlling, directing and monitoring the activities and movement of adult inmates. Correctional Sergeants have a variety of duties depending upon where they are assigned. Each facility has a Public Access or Visit Sergeant who generally can resolve issues relating to the visiting process.
A Correctional Lieutenant is responsible for security operations during his or her shift and supervises Correctional Sergeants. This position manages any response to emergency situations that may arise.
This is the senior custody staff member responsible for facility-wide custody and security operations and supervision of Lieutenants.
Community Corrections Officer (CCO), Classification Counselor (CC)
Each inmate has an assigned CCO or CC, depending on the facility in which they reside or the county in which they are supervised. Counselors handle day-to-day issues or concerns of inmates in a housing unit. Counselors are responsible for classification and case management (education and work programs) and release preparation. CCOs are in the community offices, pre-release and work release facilities, providing a similar service to inmates who are on community supervision.
Correctional Unit Supervisor (CUS)
A CUS is responsible for the management of a housing unit, including the supervision of CCs or CCOs, and custody staff (Sergeants and COs).