A correctional officer is a person who facilitates the normal functioning of the prison. Prison officers or correctional officers; look after the safety of prisons and the prisoners. They have to abide by the laws that govern the functioning of the prisons. They should also protect the basic human rights of the prisoners.
Legal rights of prisoners:
• The first amendment to the constitution provides rights to the prisoners in having access to reading material. They also have the right to receive an uncensored mail and practice their religion.
• The fourth amendment to the constitution grants protection against unapproved searches. However, the court provides fair justification in allowing the prison officials to carry on the search of inmates.
• The eighth amendment protects the inmates against inhumane treatment by prison officials.
• The fourteenth amendment emphasizes on providing equal rights and protection to the inmates.
Challenges faced by correction officers in balancing the prison maintenance and the rights of the prisoners:
• The prisoners are arrogant. Therefore, the correction officials should impose strict restrictions on them. This restriction will violate the rights of a prisoner. Hence, the prison officials will be in dilemma to balance the situation.
• The correctional officials will face the consequences of litigation if they do not maintain proper records. Therefore, they are required to maintain detailed record of the duties discharged by them.
• The prisoners have the right to obtain legal education and it will enable them in filing complaints against the authorities. This imposes an official obligation on the correctional officials to resolve the disputes. Hence, it leads to heavy burden on the prison officers.
• The officers face lack of funds to meet the standards of prison maintenance.
• The prisoners are not calm and engage in fights among themselves. The prison authority is responsible to maintain order in the prison. Hence, these fights threaten the safety of prison officials.
The duties of correctional officials are challenging and poses threat to their safety because they handle arrogant prisoners. Moreover, arrogant prisoners cannot be suppressed by unusual means because it violates their basic rights. Therefore, the judicial system should ensure the safety of the officials.