The Skills and Training You Need to Become a Penologist

Are you interested in becoming a penologist, or a specialist in prison management? The world has become a much more volatile place to live in, which has increased the need for law enforcement personnel, such as penologists. If you’re interested in becoming a penologist, then you should be aware of the training and skills required for the position. Here is a rundown of some of the most common requirements:

Penologist Training:

Typically, a penologist must have earned a bachelor’s degree in fields such as:

a. criminal justice

b. justice administration

c. psychology

Courses that penologists are required to take include topics such as criminal psychology and prison punishment goals, why people are incarcerated, how long they are incarcerated, and the history of prisons. Training for penologists also typically includes areas such as firearms proficiency and self-defense. Such training helps to keep the prisons and prison personnel safe.

Penologist Skills:

As with other professions, there are certain skills and traits that make someone more likely to succeed as a penologist. Here are some of them:

1. Understanding of the corrections system

This is definitely one of the most important skills that a penologist should possess. Since your job is to manage a prison, it’s crucial that you understand the dynamics of a prison.

2. Initiative

This is another valuable skill that a penologist should have. Yes, there are protocols and regulations that a penologist must follow. However, there are certain situations in which a penologist must show initiative, and make spur-of-the-moment decisions. In such situations, he or she must consider the various options that are available, and then determine the most effective one.

3. Strong verbal and written communication skills

Both types of communication skills are crucial for penologists. They are required to interact verbally with the prisoners, the prison’s personnel, and visitors to the prison. Penologists must also deal with several types of documents, including legal documents and those documents related to the operation of the prison.

4. Patience

Working as a penologist can be quite stressful. This is why having a high degree of patience is crucial for those who wish to succeed in the field of penology. It is important to react in a professional manner, even when a penologist finds himself or herself in a difficult situation. Those are the times when patience is indeed a virtue.

5. Physical fitness

While the job of a penologist certainly requires one to make quick decisions, managing a prison isn’t strictly a cerebral task. The day-to-day operation of the prison is quite kinesthetic, and thus requires one to be physically fit. The chance of an inmate showing hostile behavior towards a penologist always exists. Thus, he or she must be prepared for such situations.

The continued rise in crime makes the job outlook for Penologists promising. With the right training and skills, it’s a field that might be right for you. While working as a penologist isn’t for everyone, with the right training and skills you can certainly succeed in the profession. Consider these aforementioned issues to determine if managing a prison is the right job for you.

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