How to Become a Correctional Officer in Maine

If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding career, the State of Maine Department of Corrections may be the perfect place for you. Correctional officers who work for this department play an important role in maintaining safety and security in prisons and other correctional facilities. 

Criminal In Handcuffs


Correctional Officers play a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of those who are incarcerated. In this position, you will be responsible for the custody, security, discipline, treatment, and rehabilitation of adult inmates committed to a state operated facility. 

Maine Correctional Officer will have the:

  • Knowledge of prisoner motivation and psychology. 
  • Knowledge of problems associated with institutional life. 
  • Knowledge of correctional institution rules, regulations, policies, and procedures. 
  • Ability to understand and follow instructions. 
  • Ability to interpret and enforce correctional center rules, regulations, policies, practices, and 
  • procedures. 
  • Ability to perform various strenuous duties such as climbing stairs and/or escorting unruly 
  • inmates. 
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing. 
  • Ability to handle critical and stressful situations. 
  • Ability to write clearly and effectively. 
  • Ability to observe situations and behavior in detail. 
  • Ability to make decisions and act quickly in an emergency. 
  • Ability to model appropriate behavior, attitude, ethics, and morals. 


A Correctional Officer in Maine is responsible for overseeing inmates in a correctional facility. They keep the inmates safe and secure and ensure that the facility is run safely and effectively. Correctional officers also work with inmates to help them rehabilitate and prepare for life after prison.

The minimum qualifications for a Maine Correctional Officer position:

  • Age:  Applicants must be at least 18 years of age prior to the date of hire.
  • Education:  Applicants must be a high school graduate or hold an equivalency certificate (GED).
  • Conduct:  Applicants must have no serious criminal or extensive motor vehicle records.  
  • Physical:  Applicants must be in adequate physical condition to perform the duties of a Correctional Officer. 

The State of Maine Correctional Officer hiring process includes:

  • Application Evaluation: Applications are reviewed to verify that each candidate meets the established Minimum Qualifications/Requirements. 
  • Physical Agility Test:  Standards for successful completion of the PAT are available upon request.  
  • Oral Board Interview: The Oral Board is a structured interview that evaluates applicants’ skills in the areas of Commitment & Independence; Judgment & Logic; Decision-Making Decisiveness; Tact & Diplomacy; and Communication Skills. 
  • Background Investigation: Applicants who successfully pass the Oral Board Interview will have a fingerprint-based criminal history record check along with a prior employment reference check.
  • Alert Test: Applicants must pass the Alert Test prior to being hired as a Correctional Officer.  The Alert Test will be set up upon completion of all previous steps. This test must meet the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s minimum passing score for entrance into basic corrections training. 


In order to become certified as a correctional officer in Maine, you must complete the Maine Criminal Justice Academy’s Basic Correctional Officer Training Program. This program consists of 200 hours of training, and consists of the following:

Administrative, History, and Development of Corrections and the Correctional Officer

  • Administrative Details, Orientation, Testing, Graduation
  • History of Laws and Development of Corrections
  • Role of the Correctional Officer in the New Millennium
  • Sociology of a Correctional Facility
  • Physical Fitness & Nutrition

Ethics and Professionalism

  • Professionalism, Ethics, and Administrative Investigations

Criminal Justice System, Laws, Rights and Investigations, and Testifying

  • Law Enforcement, Courts, and Corrections
  • Constitutional & Civil Rights, and ADA
  • Correctional Standards
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
  • Investigations in Corrections
  • Preparation and Presentation of Testimony


  • Report Writing
  • Log Books and Record Keeping
  • Radio and Telephone Communications
  • Basic Communications, Body Language, and IPC Skills
  • Cultural Diversity and Awareness

Inmate Management

  • Inmate Admitting and Release and Classification
  • Security and Count Procedures
  • Inmate Supervision
  • Women Offenders and Cross-Gender Supervision
  • Inmate Discipline and Inmate Grievances

Special Management Inmates

  • Sex Offenders
  • Homosexual, Bisexual, and Transgender Prisoners
  • Security Threat Groups
  • Mentally Ill Inmates and Crisis Intervention
  • Domestic & Sexual Assault, and Stalking

Officer Safety, Security, and Practical Skills

  • Basic Officer Safety and 
  • Situational Use of Force
  • Mechanics of  Restraint and Control
  • Contraband
  • Area, Cell, and Body Searches
  • Key and Tool Control
  • Security in a Non-Secure Setting
  • Cell Extractions

Critical Incident Prevention and Management

  • Assaults, Riots, and Other Disturbances
  • Hostage Situations
  • Fire and Fire Safety
  • Escapes
  • Unattended Death
  • Critical Incident Stress and Debriefing for Staff 1 Hour

Correctional Officers must also pass the Physical Agilities Test consisting of 6 events. Each event is scored according to the scoring matrix. A minimum score of 120 points will be considered a passing score for the PAT test. The 6 events include:

Push-Up Test 

Sit-Up Test

Step Test 96 Steps in 60 Seconds 

140lb. Dummy Drag Within 90 Seconds 100 ft. 

Carry Fire Extinguisher While Following Instructions 100 ft. 

1 Mile Run/Brisk Walk 


In order to be accepted as a participant in mandatory academy law enforcement or corrections courses, or to be certified, recertified, or request a waiver, an applicant must be of good moral character as determined by the hiring or sponsoring agency through a formal background check.  

An agency presenting an individual for certification, admission to a mandatory Academy course, recertification, or a waiver from training will attest that the individual meets the standard of having no disqualifying conviction.  In addition, the applicant shall certify under oath that he or she has no disqualifying conviction and that he or she has not engaged in disqualifying conduct.  


Although having a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement for employment as a Correctional Officer, Maine does assist with repayment of costs.

Maine is a qualified employer for Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), a federal program. 

Some Criminology or Criminal Justice Programs in Maine include:

University of Maine: Justice Studies

University of Southern Maine: Criminology


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the average salary for Correctional Officers in Maine as $43,660. Maine also offers Correctional Officers the following benefits:

  • Work-Life Balance – Rest is essential. Take time for yourself using 13 paid holidays12 days of sick leave, and 3+ weeks of vacation leave annually. Vacation leave accrual increases with years of service, and overtime-exempt employees receive personal leave. 
  • Health Insurance Coverage – The State of Maine pays 85%-100% of employee-only premiums. 
  • Health Insurance Premium Credit – Participation decreases employee-only premiums by 5%. 
  • Dental Insurance – The State of Maine pays 100% of employee-only dental premiums. 
  • Retirement Plan – The State of Maine contributes a percentage of pay to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS), on behalf of the employee.  
  • Gym Membership Reimbursement – Improve overall health with regular exercise and receive up to $40 per month to offset this expense. 
  • Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts – Set aside money pre-tax to help pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses and/or daycare expenses. 
  • Parental leave is one of the most important benefits for any working parent. All employees who are welcoming a child—including fathers and adoptive parents—receive four weeks of fully paid parental leave. 


The Maine Department of Corrections is responsible for the care and custody of over 2,000 adult offenders. The department is currently hiring for several Correctional Officer positions. Well-qualified applicants will have experience working in a law enforcement or corrections setting.


State of Maine Department of Corrections 

Federal Bureau of Prisons