Become a Correctional Officer

Correctional Officers undertake a front-line role in the prison system interacting with prisoners on a daily basis. Our officers are responsible for a wide range of duties to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of prisoners in our care.

Prisoners range from high security, medium security or low security settings and represent a cross section of the community with have a variety of health, cultural and other special needs.

The Department for Correctional Services (the Department) is an important part of the justice sector in South Australia – responsible for prisoners, the offenders in our communities, and the provision of rehabilitation opportunities.

The Department plays an essential role in supporting the South Australian Government vision that our neighbourhoods will be safe and welcoming places where people can live active and healthy lives and feel part of the community.

The Department is responsible for prisoners and offenders while in custody and for ongoing supervision, rehabilitation, and reintegration support into the community.

As a Correctional Officer your duties can include:

  • Observing prisoner conduct, behaviour, and activities
  • Conducting prisoner cell searches
  • Transporting and escorting prisoners
  • Assisting and encouraging prisoners with their individual development programs and case reviews
  • Assisting prisoners with matters affecting their welfare, security, behaviours and routines
  • Responding to emergency situations, including prisoner conflicts, prisoner injury and medical crisis
  • Conducting strip searched of prisoners

About you

To be a great Correctional Officer, you will be:

  • Socially responsible with personal honesty and integrity
  • Display empathy and cultural awareness
  • Mature and self-confident
  • Use interpersonal skills and emotional stability which enables supportive and constructive relationships with work colleagues and with prisoners
  • Model and foster positive, respectful leadership behaviours
  • The ability to use critical thinking, be alert and observant at all times
  • A high level of resilience, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence
  • Work successfully with the greater team to maintain the safety and security

As a Correctional Officer you'll be a role model and mentor to prisoners – helping to develop appropriate behaviour and support the rehabilitation efforts of each prisoner.

All DCS staff need to ensure that each prisoner is treated professionally, humanely, with courtesy and respect at all times.

The work of a Correctional Officer is based on the principles of:

  • Case management — individual planning of a prisoner's progress through the correctional system
  • Regime management — managing prisoners under incentive-based regimes
  • Teamwork — communication, professional and responsible behaviour, support and co-operation between staff
  • maintaining a safe, secure, humane environment.


After the recruitment process new employees will start a 12-month probationary period with regular performance reviews.
This period will include 14 weeks of classroom-based training and on the job work experience.

Graduates are awarded a Certificate III in Correctional Practice (Adult Custodial) on successful completion of their probationary period.

Learn more about our comprehensive certified training.

Further information

For further information contact our recruitment consultants on (08) 8226 9150 or (08) 8226 9048


  • Download: Correctional Officer Application and Pre-Employment Declaration (Fillable) (1.4 MB PDF)
  • Download: Correctional Officer - Generic Job and Person description (250.3 KB PDF)
  • Download: Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector.pdf (608.9 KB PDF)
  • Download: DCS Strategic Plan 2022-2026.pdf (484.3 KB PDF)