SC Department of Corrections

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Correctional Officers / Cadets

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Correctional Officers/Cadets are law enforcement professionals whose number one priority is to protect the public from criminal offenders. They are the backbone of the South Carolina Department of Corrections and its operations. Their job is to provide security and supervision of inmates each day in state prisons, under difficult and often dangerous conditions.

Correctional Officers/Cadets complete new employee orientation and the SCDC Basic Training Program. During this hands-on training, officers are required to respond to various scenarios that may occur in a prison setting. Officers and Cadets soon realize that managing aggressive and violent behavior is an essential skill pertinent to correctional staff. Communication skills and techniques are vital tools for an officer/cadet in managing inmates.

The job of Correctional Officer/Cadet requires someone with discipline, knowledge, confidence, and ability to use good judgement. Officers/Cadets carry out their duties by obeying and enforcing laws, policy and procedures, rules and regulations fairly, firmly, and consistently.

Cadets are 18 to 20 years of age and are not permitted to complete weapons training until their 21st birthday. Once this training is complete, a Cadet will then be classified as a certified Correctional Officer.

Correctional Officers/Cadets Must:

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be 18 years old (cadet); be 21 years old (officer)
  • Have no conviction of crime punishable by more than one year
  • Not have a license suspension for the last five years
  • Pass a physical examination administered by SCDC
  • Complete new employee orientation and the SCDC Basic Training program mandated through the Law Enforcement Training Act

The South Carolina Department of Corrections has custody of men and women aged 17 and older whose sentences are more than 90 days in length. Of the 23,000 inmates in its jurisdiction, approximately 97% of those inmates are housed in 29 correctional institutions throughout the state.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections is one of the largest state agencies that has such a wide variety of career fields available to you.


  • Safety - We will protect the public, our employees, and our inmates.
  • Services - We will provide rehabilitation and self-improvement opportunities for inmates.
  • Stewardship - We will promote professional excellence, fiscal responsibility, and self-sufficiency.

Excellent Employee Benefits

  • *3 Weeks Sick Leave
  • *3 Weeks Annual Leave
  • *12 Paid Holidays Per Year
  • Police Retirement Package
  • 3 Weeks Military Leave
  • Group Health and Dental Insurance
  • Deferred Compensation Program

* Based on a 7.5/8.0 hour day

Applicants wanting to apply for vacant positions must submit an SCDC application in order to be referred for openings. You may obtain an SCDC employment application at your local job service office, all Agency locations, by visiting our website at, by downloading the application here,  or by calling our office at (803) 896-1649 to request an application be mailed to your home address.

Once the application is received in the Recruiting and Employment Services' office, it is entered into the Agency's Applicant Referral System and an acknowledgment of receipt is sent to the applicant's home address. The acknowledgment will include the expiration date of your application, information on how to apply for future vacancies, and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in order to apply by telephone and renew your application before the expiration date. Remember applications submitted after the closing date of a vacancy will not be considered. Your application will be kept in an active file for 90 days.

Vacant positions are announced every Tuesday and Thursday and are posted at all Agency locations, S.C. Job Services, and on the SCDC Job Line.

Required Qualifications:
Applicants must meet both the State Minimum Requirements and SCDC Additional requirements for each vacant position except Correctional Officers/Cadets (see next page - "Correctional Officers/Cadets Must" for requirements). The State Minimum Requirements are often general to the job classification, while the Agency's Additional Requirements often require more education specific to the vacant position.

The Department of Corrections maintains three specially trained teams to respond to emergency situations in correctional institutions or other law enforcement settings. Employees make up these teams.

SITCON (Situation Controllers) acts as our hostage negotiators using communication and crises techniques to stabilize and resolve emergency situations without or prior to the use of force.

RRT (Rapid Response Team) is trained in crowd control techniques and the use of less lethal force. They contain, control, and secure rebellious inmates in order to restore order in an institution.

SORT (Special Operations Response Team) is trained in special weapons and tactics. They contain the crises area and regain control through the use of force up to and including lethal force, if necessary.

Equal Opportunity Employer
The Department of Corrections is an Equal Opportunity Employer with numerous facilities throughout the state offering employment in both security and non-security positions. SCDC is searching for qualified men and women of moral character and determination. If you're willing to work hard and to grow personally and professionally, this may be the job for you. In dealing with offenders and the public, you must firmly establish authority, yet show yourself worthy of trust by maintaining unimpeachable conduct on and off duty. With a career in the Department of Corrections, you'll learn new skills, enhance present skills and have a future with unlimited career opportunities.