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:

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Staffing Levels Remain High; Inmate Assaults Reach 24-Year Low

New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) Commissioner Glenn S. Goord today announced that to maintain record levels of safety and security in New York's correctional facilities, a competitive Civil Service exam for the position of Correction Officer Trainee will be given statewide on Saturday, April 8, 2006.

The starting annual salary for an Officer is $28,444. Upon successful completion of the eight-week training program and the one-year probation 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 $1,200 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.

"Few professions, if any, are as rewarding as ensuring the safety and security for the people of New York State," Commissioner Goord said. "Our Correction Officer exams have traditionally drawn tremendous interest from potential candidates across the State, and I look forward to that continuing this year. I encourage as many people as possible to consider joining the Department."

The number of New York State’s Correction Officers increased by nearly 3 percent from 18,832 in January 1995 to 19,371 today. In that same time period, the State’s prison population declined by approximately 5 percent, from 66,750 to 63,006.

New York's Officers have contributed greatly to making their workplace more secure. The number of inmate-on-staff assaults has declined by 46 percent in recent years, from 962 among an average daily population of 68,164 in 1995, to 516 among 63,357 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.

Individuals interested in taking April’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, Building 1, State Office Campus, Albany, NY, 12239. Applications can be obtained from that office or the Civil Service website 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, via the internet at the Department’s web site, or by phone at (518) 457-8131.

Completed applications to take the exam must be postmarked no later than February 20, 2006.

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 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 the 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.