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Correctional Officer

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Program Content:

The Sarasota Criminal Justice Academy (SCJA) of Suncoast Technical College offers the Basic Recruit Correctional Officer Certification Program. Our program prepares students for employment as entry-level correctional officers and meets the requirements of the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC). We utilize standards developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and adopted by CJSTC.

Students can be sponsored by an employing agency or apply for direct admission. A prospective student applying for direct admission must complete and pass an application screening process.

Practical skills and field experiences are an integral part and include: courtroom demeanor and testifying; report writing; interviewing; communications; controlling and restraining techniques; weapons training; chemical agent applications; physical fitness training; fingerprinting; substance abuse recognition; emergency preparedness techniques; fire fighting techniques; and interpersonal skills.

Program content also includes codes of ethics; history and evolution of laws; introduction to the criminal justice system; corrections rules, rights, and responsibilities; basic law and legal procedures; correctional and law enforcement operations; laws, rules, and regulations of probationer supervision; search and seizure defensive tactics; and internal operations of corrections facilities.

Additionally, this program prepares individuals to provide first responder care to sick or injured persons. Instructional strategies include methods to identify, organize, and use resources appropriately; work with each other cooperatively and productively; acquire and use information; understand social, organizational, and technological systems; and work with a variety of tools and equipment.

All instructors are certified by FDLE/CJSTC. Suncoast Technical College is a CJSTC certified training center.

Program Length:

The basic recruit program is a day time only, full time, 11-week (420 hour) course.

Industry Certifications/State Credentials:

  • Preparation for the State Officers Certification Exam (SOCE)

Obtainment Time Frame: Within 4 years of start of training

Entrance/Exit Requirements:

Applicants must be 19 years old on the graduation date. Applicants must complete the application process consisting of:

  • SCJA Registration Card
  • Physical Abilities Test (PAT)
  • Sign up for CJBAT testing AFTER meeting with Student Services
    • Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test (CJBAT-Corrections)–Pass
  • Personal History Form completed & notarized
  • Two passport–type photos
  • SCJA Fingerprint Processing for background check
  • A three-year driving history
  • Polygraph examination
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test
  • Physician’s Clearance form for Physical Abilities Test (PAT)
  • Physical Fitness Assessment, CJSTC Form 75
  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Original High School Diploma
  • Military Discharge Form DD-214 (if applicable)
  • Applicant Release Form Notarized
  • Original Florida Driver License
  • Drug Use Guideline Acknowledgment

Self-sponsored applicants will be considered on scores on the following:

  • Oral Board

Agency sponsored students must pass the CJBAT-Corrections & complete an agency background investigation.

Standard Occupations:

For specific occupation information, including wages, employment trends and more, visit the following links:

Correctional Officers & Jailers

For other O*Net Online information, please visit:

Course Campus Location(s):


Course Sequence:


Course #

Course Title




Intro to Corrections

32 hrs



40 hrs


Officer Safety

16 hrs


Facility and Equipment

8 hrs


Intake and Release

18 hrs


Supervising in a Correctional Facility

40 hrs


Supervising Special Populations

20 hrs


Responding to Incidents and Emergencies

16 hrs


Officer Wellness & Physical Abilities

30 hrs


CMS First Aid for Criminal Justice Officers

40 hrs


CMS Criminal Justice Firearms

80 hrs


CMS Criminal Justice Defensive Tactics Officer

80 hrs

*OCP-A is earned after completion of ALL Correctional Officer Courses.