How to Become a Correctional Officer in Hawaii

The State of Hawaii, Department of Public Safety, Division of Corrections believes Correctional Officers in Hawaii play an important role in society by helping to rehabilitate criminals and preparing them for their return to the community.

If you are interested in a career as a Correctional Officer, the state of Hawaii is a great place to start your career. The pay and benefits are excellent, and there are many opportunities for advancement. There are also many different types of Corrections Officers, so you can find a position that best suits your skills and interests.

handcuffs laying on table


Hawaii Correctional Officers are responsible for overseeing inmates in prisons and jails. They maintain security and safety within the facility and work to rehabilitate inmates. They may also provide instruction and education to inmates, and help them adjust to life after release. Correctional Officers are responsible and accountable for immediate supervision, custody, care, and control of inmates.

Typical duties for new Correctional Officers include:

  • Completing training and orientation in basic security and custodial duties
  • Perform security and custodial duties at a variety of posts as assigned
  • Perform all other duties as assigned

After training has progressed positively, Correctional Officers will:

  • Be independently responsible on an assigned shift at any post
  • Maintain the safekeeping and control of adult residents in group quarters and individual activities

Note: Applicants must be available to work rotating shifts including nights, weekends, and holidays.


If you want to be a Correctional Officer for the state of Hawaii, you need to complete all required training. You’ll learn how to uphold prison rules and regulations, provide security and help inmates rehabilitate. You might also have to counsel inmates and help them get ready for life after prison. The pay and benefits are good, but it can be a tough job. You need to be able to handle stress, and you need to have a strong character.

Minimum qualifications for Correctional Officer positions include:

  • Education: Graduation from high school, or equivalent. One year of work experience requiring the ability to read, comprehend and apply written directions, or a high degree of verbal skill may be substituted for graduation from high school.
  • General Experience: One year of responsible work experience which shows the applicant possesses the ability to relate effectively with people in following the instructions of a supervisor and giving or exchanging information.
  • Driver’s License: You must possess a valid driver’s license at the time of appointment.

Other requirements include:

  • All adult Correctional Officer positions require work on rotating shifts, including evening, nights, weekends, and holidays. Correctional Officers must be able to work an additional eight hours shift with last-minute notice.
  • All applicants who’ve cleared the initial application process will be subject to drug screening and an intensive background check.
  • All prospective hires must be at least 21 years of age by the completion of Basic Corrections Recruit Class (BCRC).
  • Applicants must meet all Federal and State regulations pertaining to the carrying, use, and possession of firearms and ammunition. Applicants for these positions may not have a conviction of domestic violence.


All Correctional Officers are required to complete the Basic Corrections Recruit Class (BCRC). This is a nine-week training that includes 360 hours of classroom time and physical training. 

Recruits learn about:

  • Standards of conduct – professionalism and ethics
  • Report writing and interpersonal communications
  • Maintaining security and crisis intervention
  • Security threat groups (gangs)
  • Mental health concerns in the inmate population
  • First aid
  • Firearms and self-defense tactics 

All incoming classes receive Recruit Field Training along with Basic Corrections Training. That means, during the final weeks of training, they go into the facility and begin their job with the guidance of their Training Sargents. 


The State of Hawaii, Department of Public Safety, Corrections Division will consider prior law enforcement experience and certification upon application.



Although not a requirement, having a bachelor’s degree can lead to increased career opportunities as a Correctional Officer in Hawaii’s Corrections Department.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa: Criminal Justice and Criminology Career Paths


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the average salary for Correctional Officers in Hawaii as $62,770

Other benefits include:

  • Paid Holidays – Up to 13 paid holidays each year; 14 holidays during an election year.
  • Paid Vacation – Up to 21 days each full year from the first year of employment. Employees may accumulate up to 720 hours of vacation leave.
  • Paid Sick Leave – Up to 21 days each year and no limit on how much can be accumulated.
  • Health Insurance – The State pays a part of the premiums for each employee’s enrollment in a State-sponsored Medical, Drug, Vision, and Dental plan.
  • Group Live Insurance – The State provides a free life insurance policy for employees.
  • Retirement Plan – The State contributes to a retirement plan for eligible employees. Generally, employees under the Hybrid Plan with 10 years of credited service and who have reached 65 years of age or have 30 years of service and have reached 60 years of age may retire and receive benefits.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – Eligible employees can reduce their federal and state income taxes and social security taxes through a tax-savings benefit program called Island Flex. This program allows employees to set aside money from their paychecks to pay out-of-pocket health care expenses and eligible dependent care expenses on a BEFORE-TAX basis.
  • Union and Collective Bargaining – Employees have the right to join the union for collective bargaining with the State and employee representation. Some employee unions provide discounts, insurance, and other opportunities. Employees may also decide not to join a union, however, employees are required to pay union service fees unless the employee’s job is excluded from collective bargaining.


The state is expected to see a 3.2% growth in the number of jobs for Correctional Officers between 2016 and 2026, which is higher than the national average of 2.4%. So if you’re interested in a career as a Correctional Officer, Hawaii is a great place to start.


The State of Hawaii, Department of Public Safety, Division of Corrections

Federal Bureau of Prisons