How to Become a Correctional Officer in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) mission is to contribute to public safety by maintaining a balanced correctional system of institutional and community programs that offer various custodial options, supervision, and rehabilitative services to facilitate the successful reintegration of released offenders into the community.


A RIDOC Correctional Officer is accountable for the supervision, custody, and control of all adult inmates assigned to the facility. Typical duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Care, custody, and oversight of inmates and their activities
  • Deliver escorted/transported inmates
  • Prisoner responsibility
  • Apply laws and regulations
  • Search for illegal goods
  • Safety and security inspections of facilities
  • Writing a report of an incident
  • Help with inmate rehabilitation and counseling


All applicants for Correctional Officer positions must pass a comprehensive screening process that includes a written exam, a local and national criminal records check, a physical fitness test, a background investigation, an oral interview, a psychological evaluation, a medical examination, and drug testing.

Minimum qualifications for RIDOC officers include:

  • Have a High School Diploma or GED
  • Be at least 18 years old

Correctional Officers must also complete the pre-service training program in order to obtain permanent status.

The written examination assesses interpersonal and cognitive reasoning skills. An independent, professional research firm develops, administers, and evaluates the assessment.

The local and national criminal history checks will be conducted using BCI and NCIC.

Applicants will then be subjected to a thorough background investigation conducted by a member of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections in regards to their employment history, education, criminal history, consumer credit history, community reputation, military service, and general character.

Applicants who pass the physical agility test, written exam, and background investigation will be required to participate in a structured oral interview. The structured oral interview consists of a series of questions administered by department members in a fair and impartial manner. Candidates are graded on each question posed. In addition, candidates will be evaluated on their oral communication, interpersonal skills, stress tolerance, appearance, and demeanor.

Applicants deemed eligible to continue are given a written psychological examination and a follow-up interview with a licensed psychologist. All evaluations are interpreted by a licensed psychologist retained by the Department of Corrections.


The Rhode Island Department of Corrections Training Academy is responsible for producing highly trained, professional, and competent personnel throughout the department. In addition, the Training Academy is responsible for the recruitment, selection, and training of entry-level Correctional Officers, the orientation of all the department’s new employees and volunteers, and the development and implementation of in-service training for the entire correctional staff.

The Training Academy is committed to developing curriculum and department-provided instructors to maintain a high standard. The curriculum is regularly reviewed, updated, and revised to meet the needs of corrections professionals in the present day. The Academy will prepare new personnel for success in the corrections profession; enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced personnel; and maintain a high level of professionalism. 

Annual in-service training consists of forty (40) hours for all uniformed personnel to ensure adherence to standards and knowledge of current policies and procedures. Training Academy personnel also develop additional training programs for correctional staff, including uniformed, civilian, supervisory, and contracted personnel, in order to maintain and improve competency levels and ensure the application of state-of-the-art correctional training practices.


The Rhode Island Department of Corrections will consider certification from another state upon application. Applicants will need to contact the Recruiting Office or a Human Resources representative for processing details. 


RIDOC applicants only need a high school diploma or GED to apply. Upon appointment, a college incentive plan provides up to $2,500 per year for a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and $2,000 per year for an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Colleges in Rhode Island that provide Criminology or Criminal Justice degrees include:

The University of Rhode Island – Criminology and Criminal Justice

Rhode Island College – Justice Studies


The Bureau of Labor and Statistics lists the average salary for Correctional Officers in Rhode Island as $48,070. Rhode Island also provides an excellent benefits package for employees.

The Office of Employee Benefits (OEB) administers voluntary employee benefit programs for active employees and health coverage for retired employees of the State of Rhode Island. Our mission is to provide state employees and retirees with the resources and information they need to enroll in and make the most of their benefits.

You will have access to a Defined Benefit plan as a participant in the Employees’ Retirement System. A Defined Benefit Plan is often referred to as a “pension.” This plan pays you a specified monthly benefit for the rest of your life upon retirement. (Note: According to Rhode Island General Law, Correctional Officers, State Police, and specific public safety employers only offer the Defined Benefit plan and do not participate in the Defined Contribution Plan.)

The state provides three medical coverage options: Anchor, Anchor Plus, and Anchor Choice with Health Savings Account (HSA). In addition to being administered by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), covering the same medical services, and including coverage for prescription drugs administered by CVS Caremark, there are significant differences between the plans. In addition, when it’s time to enroll, you’ll need to select your Anchor Dental and Vision options, whether you’ll contribute to a flexible spending account (FSA) or HSA, and whether you’d like supplemental life insurance and any other benefits you may desire.

The State takes a holistic approach to wellness, focusing on your mental health and work-life balance in addition to your physical health. As your partner in fitness, the State provides numerous programs and resources to help you achieve your objectives.


The Rhode Island Department of Corrections is frequently advertising for Correctional Officer positions. All qualified applicants should apply.


Rhode Island Department of Corrections

Federal Bureau of Prisons