How to Become a Correctional Officer in Wyoming

The Wyoming Department of Corrections operates five correctional facilities in the state: the Wyoming State Penitentiary, in Rawlins; the Wyoming Honor Farm, in Riverton; the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution, in Torrington; the Wyoming Women’s Center, in Lusk; and the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp and Boot Camp, in Newcastle. The total number of inmates in Wyoming’s correctional facilities is around 2500 as of 2022. An additional 1900 inmates are incarcerated in the state’s jail system (including 25 county jails, 43 police jails, one regional jail, one town jail, and five juvenile detention centers). Some county jails in Wyoming house inmates in lieu of state prisons when there are not enough beds in state prisons. 

Although Wyoming’s state population, and its prison population, is smaller than that of other states, the Prison Policy Initiative notes that the incarceration rate in Wyoming is 850 per 100,000 people. This rate is higher than the incarceration rate of any other democracy in the world. Prisons in Wyoming release an average of 1010 people each year. Wyoming is also one of eight states that did not reduce its prison population by more than 10 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With its high incarceration rate, Wyoming is constantly in need of well-trained, dedicated and determined correctional officers to supervise its prison population. This job can be fulfilling and rewarding for the right individuals.

View Correctional Officer Requirements By State

WHAT DOES A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER DO

The Wyoming Department of Corrections hires correctional officers with the goal of maintaining institutional safety and security in its correction centers. Essential functions of a Wyoming correctional officer include:

  • Enforcing rules and regulations of the facility
  • Responding to orders of various assigned posts
  • Assisting in a variety of searches, such as searching for contraband items
  • Supervising inmates as they perform various jobs
  • Modeling appropriate, pro-social behavior for inmates
  • Conducting daily, scheduled inmate counts
  • Observing daily inmate living, work areas, programs, and the perimeter fence line, reporting any security violations
  • Becoming familiar with inmate names and characteristics
  • Assuming duties of housing control centers, central control centers, and inmate living areas monitoring the movements of inmates
  • Assisting in transportation of inmates within the institution and off the property, including inter- and intra-state predetermined destinations
  • Assisting in the restraint of unruly inmates, using the minimum amount of force required
  • Attending all required trainings necessary to perform job duties at an acceptable level
  • Assisting in the processing of newly incarcerated inmates
  • Assisting in the out-processing of released inmates

BECOMING A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER IN WYOMING

The Wyoming Department of Corrections requires that anyone who applies for a job as a correctional officer meet the following qualifications:

  • You must be 18 years old at minimum
  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must possess a high school diploma/equivalent
  • You must possess a valid, current driver’s license
  • You must not have any felony or domestic violence convictions on record
  • You must have the ability to pass a background/reference check
  • You must have the ability to pass medical and psychological evaluations
  • You must have the ability to pass a physical fitness exam
  • You must pass a urinalysis drug screen
  • You must have the ability to work overtime and perform shift work as required
  • Candidates with work experience in a correctional setting are preferred, but experience is not required for this position

The Wyoming Department of Corrections accepts applications for correctional officer positions statewide. Applications must be filed online. If you have any questions about the position, contact Doc.Recruiter@wyo.gov or call (877) 936-2562.

WYOMING EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS

New hires for correctional officer jobs in Wyoming must complete initial training and be awarded Correctional Officer Certification by the Wyoming Peace Officers Standards & Training (POST) Commission. This consists of 10 weeks of intensive, paid training at the Wyoming Department of Corrections Training Academy, which is located near the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins. Male cadets must be clean-shaven, as beards or mustaches of any kind are not allowed in the academy.

The first five weeks of training include extensive instruction in communication skills and de-escalation techniques (such as verbal judo and motivational interviewing).  Training continues on subjects including Wyoming state law, WDOC policies and procedures, report writing, ethics and managing inmate behavior. Cadets will also receive safety training on defense tactics including Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT). 

Cadets must complete two physical fitness assessments during the 10 week training academy. The first assessment occurs during the first week of the academy, giving trainers a baseline to know what each cadet needs to work on to pass tests at the high altitude (6750 feet) at which the academy is situated. The second assessment occurs later in training and continues to the end of the academy. It includes meeting physical fitness standards for push-ups, sit-ups and running 1.5 miles, based upon gender and age. Cadets who cannot pass the physical fitness assessment will be sent back to their home facility, where the warden will determine if there is a post where that cadet can work until the next academy time rolls around. 

Cadets who pass basic training will be certified at the Basic level of POST certification. After one year of experience, and 20 additional hours of training, officers may move to Advanced POST certification. Professional level POST certification will occur after completion of 40 hours of training, in addition to three years of experience, or an associate degree plus two years of experience, or a bachelor’s degree plus one year of experience. 

OPTIONAL PATH TO CERTIFICATION

Applicants who have experience working as correctional officers will have their experience and training assessed by POST to determine their appropriate level of certification. They must provide a certificate of completion from their Correctional Officer Basic Training course, a copy of their training records, and proof of current CPR certification. Correctional officers who have at least five years of work experience will be required to complete a two-week Mini Basic Training academy, pass a written exam, and complete the fitness assessment. Correctional officers with this experience who have been unemployed for more than five years must complete the full Basic Training academy.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREES

The Wyoming Department of Corrections does not mandate that applicants for correctional officer positions possess a college degree. However, as noted above, when climbing the ranks in POST certification, a degree can help you to achieve Professional POST status more quickly, in lieu of experience.

WYOMING CORRECTIONAL OFFICER SALARY

A Wyoming correctional officer’s starting salary as of 2022 is $17.96 to $19.02 per hour. Those hired to work at the Wyoming State Penitentiary and the Wyoming Women’s Center begin at $19.02 per hour, with a rate of $20.08 per hour after one year, and $21.13 per hour after five years. Those working at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution, Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp and Wyoming Honor Farm start at $17.96 per hour, rise to $19.02 per hour after one year, and rise to $20.08 per hour after five years. 

In addition to the above-mentioned salary, Wyoming correctional officers are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Employer-paid retirement fund
  • Accrued paid vacation leave per month:
    • 8 hours per month if you have up to 48 months of employment
    • 10 hours per month if you have 48 to 108 months of employment
    • 12 hours per month if you have 109 through 168 months of employment
    • 14 hours per month if you have 169 through 228 months of employment
    • 16 hours per month if you have 229 or more months of employment
  • 8 hours paid sick leave accruing monthly
  • 9 paid holidays per year, with premium pay for working the holiday
  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Longevity pay ($40 extra per month for every five years of service)
  • Deferred compensation

WYOMING CORRECTIONAL OFFICER JOBS

The Wyoming Department of Corrections is hiring correctional officer positions statewide. You must apply online for these positions.  Jobs are also advertised at this site when they are available.

TOP EMPLOYERS OF CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS IN WYOMING

The Wyoming Department of Corrections is the only employer of state correctional officers. There are no federal correctional facilities in Wyoming.