Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Thursday, September 1, 2005

CO exam scheduled for November 19, 2005 to maintain safe, secure prisons;
Staffing levels remain high, inmate-on-inmate assaults at 23-year low

To maintain record levels of safety and security in New York’s prisons, a competitive Civil Service exam for the position of Correction Officer Trainee will be given statewide on November 19, 2005.

The starting annual salary for an Officer is $28,444. Upon successful completion of the eight-week training program and the one-year probationary period, the annual salary increases to $34,742. In addition to the base salary, appointees will receive an annual pre-shift briefing payment of $1,415 and a $575 annual security and law enforcement differential. Appointees who work in New York City or in Westchester County will receive an additional $1,230 annual downstate adjustment. Salaries are subject to increase pending outcome of current contract negotiations. Officers also receive a comprehensive health insurance program benefits package and retirement program.

Commissioner Goord said, “We encourage as many people as possible, especially women and minorities, to consider joining our agency. Our modest 4 percent attrition rate for Officers demonstrates what a rewarding and fulfilling career opportunity this is. Our goal is to continue to diversify our work force by offering opportunities within DOCS to as many qualified individuals as possible.”

Protecting today’s Correction Officers

The number of New York state’s Correction Officers increased by 3 percent from 18,832 in January 1995 to today’s 19,388 while the prison population declined by 5 percent over the same period, from 66,750 down to 63,231.

New York’s Officers have contributed greatly to making their work place more secure. The number of inmate-on-inmate staff assaults has declined by 45 percent in recent years, from 962 among an average daily population of 68,164 inmates in 1995 to 529 among 64,659 inmates last year. Last year’s number was the fewest since 1981, when there were 468 such assaults among an average daily population of 23,558.

How to join tomorrow’s ranks of our Correction Officers

Individuals interested in taking November’s competitive exam must complete an application and forward it along with a non-refundable $30 application fee to the New York State Department of Civil Service at Building One, State Office Campus, Albany, N.Y., 12239. Applications can be obtained from that office or their web site and at local New York State Employment Offices, regional Civil Service offices and state correctional facilities.

Additionally, applications can also be obtained by contacting the DOCS Correction Officer Recruitment Unit at Building 2, State Office Campus, 1220 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY., 12226 or via the internet at the Department’s web site.

Completed applications to take the exam must be postmarked no later than October 3, 2005.

To take this competitive, written exam, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and in good physical and mental health. Conviction for a felony automatically disqualifies anyone from becoming an Officer. Misdemeanor convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility.

At the time of appointment, candidates must be U.S. citizens, at least 21 years old, New York state residents and possess either a high school diploma or GED.

To qualify for consideration to become an Officer, applicants must score at least 70 on the written exam, results of which are ranked according to score. Applicants then undergo a background check and must qualify medically, physically, and psychologically before being appointed to the DOCS’s Training Academy in Albany for a comprehensive eight-week training program followed by three weeks of on-the-job training.

Those completing the training and probationary programs earn 16 college credits toward a post-secondary degree. They can then qualify to take exams for the positions of sergeant, lieutenant and then captain, before being considered for an appointment as a deputy superintendent or superintendent.