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What does a Bailiff do?

Bailiffs are considered to be law enforcement officers. They maintain order and security in the courts, protecting the judges and juries and ensuring that everyone in attendance comply with all court rules. Bailiffs check entry and exit points, perform weapons checks and announce the judge. They remove any persons who may be ordered to leave by the judge. If you enjoy the activity of a courtroom and have an interest in working with a diverse range of the public, then you may be well suited for a career as a bailiff.

bailiff

Bailiffs monitor the trial process carefully and watch out for any disregard for appropriate court behavior and illegal activity. They provide an escort for the jury as they enter and exit the courtroom, and are alert to any possible threats or intimidation. If the jury needs to be accommodated at a hotel, they provide security at the venue. Bailiffs also perform administrative duties such as preparing daily court schedules and bond forms and maintaining court supplies.

What Education and Training Will I Need to Become a Bailiff?

You will need at least a High School Diploma or GED (General Education Degree). Further criminal justice related training at a vocational school or police academy will greatly improve your chances of employment. Some courts prefer to hire candidates with a background in law enforcement or those who have completed of a course in civil rights. A degree in criminal justice can provide the ideal credentials for becoming a bailiff.

Naturally, having a personal history of no criminal convictions is mandatory and a background check will be performed on all candidates. Bailiffs need to develop strong public relations skills and keen attention to detail.

If you are good at making quick decisions, have good judgment and integrity and are interested in the legal system then you will likely find a career as a bailiff highly rewarding.

What does a Correctional Officer do?

Correctional officers are an important, but often overlooked part of law enforcement. Just as police officers risk their safety to keep crime at bay, so do correctional officers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), correctional officers battle one of the highest rates of nonfatal on-the-job injuries in the country.

correctional officer

In exchange for the risk, correctional officers can earn solid salaries without investing years in their education, at least at the local and state levels, making this a worthwhile career consideration for security-oriented jobseekers.

Duties, responsibilities: What does a correctional officer do, anyway?

In short, correctional officers work in prisons and other detention centers, overseeing convicted criminals and those awaiting trial to ensure their safety and overall cooperation. Working for local, state or federal institutions, these professionals ensure facility rules are followed and that inmates don’t escape. This requires a good deal of observing and patrolling, but also the potential for a lot of paperwork when security is breeched.

Training requirements: How do I become a correctional officer?

Local and state correctional officers are typically direct-entry professionals, meaning they tend to enter the field straight out of high school or the workforce rather than college. According to the BLS, most correctional officers complete academy-based training and then bolster their training on the job. Lessons include custody and security procedures, institutional policies and regulations and a primer in inmate rights.

Most local or state institutions require a high school diploma or an equivalent, but relevant college credits or even a degree in an area like criminal justice or police science can improve your employment prospects.

Most federal facilities require a bachelor’s degree, three years in the field or some combination of education and experience. While military experience is a plus, the Federal Bureau of Prisons notes that it is no replacement for the proper training.

Career, salary outlook: Will becoming a correctional officer pay off?

The future is generally bright for correctional officers. The BLS reports that positions among corrections professionals are projected to grow by 9 percent. What’s more, the demanding nature of the profession has made it difficult for many local and state agencies to attract new officers, so career competition is limited. Positions among federal correctional officers are more competitive, but with the right combination of training and experience, still well within reach.

While correctional officers’ earnings are tepid compared to many law enforcement professionals, these professionals still enjoy solid earnings given their often limited educations. Those working at the federal level tend to earn more than state and local positions.

What does a Court Assistant do?

Court assistants execute the administrative, personal, and secretarial responsibilities necessary to manage court proceedings and achieve its daily goals. As a court assistant, you will be responsible for scheduling the daily tasks of the court, from trials to hearings, conferences and meetings. You will compose orders of correspondence, answer phones, maintain files, review cases for accuracy, and assist those coming into the courtroom such as law-enforcement, witnesses, litigants, and attorneys.

court assistant

Job requirements

Depending on the state, there are different requirements in order for you to become a court assistant. For instance, Florida’s Marion County Courts simply require a High School diploma and “four years of administrative support experience at the legal secretary level” as well as a valid Florida Drivers License. However, some states, such as New York, in addition to the aforementioned requirements, also require you to take a Court Assistant exam and attain certain certifications or degrees.

Certification and degree programs

Many online programs offer certifications, associate, and bachelor’s degrees in Legal Administration. It may be necessary for you to obtain a certification or degree in order to gain the necessary skills to become an effective court assistant, as the position requires excellent customer service skills, as well as language, mathematical, and problem solving abilities, according to the Marion County Court’s requirements, in order to complete the tasks associated with the job. Additionally, some states require you to have a notary certificate.

Job fields for court assistants

There are different fields of the industry in which court clerks can work. A court assistant can work in local government, state government, businesses needing legal assistants, and other support services. While there are a variety of fields you can work in, the positions are still competitive.