Correctional Counselor

Guide inmates along the path to reform.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$24,000 – $69,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Correctional Counselors do?

Prison reform in America dates back to the 1700s. Since then, prisons have slowly evolved from places of incarceration, keeping criminals who are awaiting trial, to places of reform, helping people change their ways and readjust to society. Correctional Counselors conduct individual and group therapy sessions to help the people at a correctional facility do a 180 with their lives and start heading toward a brighter future.

If you’re a Correctional Counselor, you hold therapy sessions for non-violent criminals so everyone can talk about their personal struggles and how they can overcome their past mistakes. Anger management is a common topic, and you demonstrate different methods of handling unwanted emotions. In the case of violent or dangerous criminals, you may conduct one-on-one sessions in a guarded room.

On a daily basis as a Correctional Counselor, you help others discover their own self-worth, identify their past mistakes, and learn how to move their lives towards a positive direction. You schedule activities ranging from community service to educational workshops. These activities help each person feel like they’re making a difference in the community, as well as increase their educational skills, thus raising their chances of finding a job after they leave the correctional facility.

Regardless of what skills each person needs to learn, your overall goal is clear. You give them the mental tools they need for a fresh start. And in so doing, you help protect innocent people by teaching offenders that crime and violence will never earn them the life they want.

Should I be a Correctional Counselor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • Also known as: Chemical Dependency Professional, Corrections Counselor

    How to become a Correctional Counselor

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Correctional Counselor-related education!
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