Occ. Code 8700200
CORRECTION SERGEANT, GRADE 17
New York State Department of Civil Service
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF CLASS
Positions of Correction Sergeant exist in the correctional facilities of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and in the Departments Training Academy.
In a correctional facility, under the supervision of a Correction Lieutenant (shift supervisor), the Sergeant supervises a group of Correction Officers in maintaining the safety and security of all persons and property and in providing for the care, custody and well‑being of inmates in a major segment of the facility. One position may be assigned as a chart Sergeant while another may be assigned to plan and implement special safety and security procedures to accommodate the expanding program of services to inmates.
Correction Sergeants are classified in correctional facilities to function primarily in the capacity of an area supervisor or Assistant Watch Commander (assistant to the shift supervisor). These positions in a correctional facility are supervised by the Correction Lieutenant responsible for shift supervision and, in turn, they directly supervise Correction Officers in their performance of safety and security activities and tasks in the facility. Correction Sergeants who have the ability to speak and understand conversational Spanish may be classified as Correction Sergeant (Spanish Language) and be required to assist facility management with situations requiring interpretive skills.
"Area supervisor" positions are characterized by the supervision of a group of generally five or more Correction Officers in an assigned area of the facility. Assistant Watch Commander positions, only one on each facility shift, are characterized by the maintenance of all assignment records and by the responsibility for making decisions, such as the approval of time off for Correction Officers on their shift.
On the evening shifts, there may be one or more Correction Sergeants functioning in the capacity of area supervisor and Assistant Watch Commander.
Some facilities, such as Shock Incarceration Facilities and Work Release Facilities, have different organizations and program emphasis, and the staffing pattern may, in turn, reflect the unique nature of these facilities.
The direct responsibility for the maintenance of security and order within the facility combined with the periodic anti‑social behavior of some inmates presents a potential for immediate physical harm to a uniformed officer either in the form of a direct assault or in their quelling of disruptive behavior or disturbances among inmates. In emergency situations, such as attempted or actual escapes, disruption of facility operations or riotous inmate behavior, the Correction Sergeant may be required to use firearms, chemical agents and other safety and emergency equipment, as directed.
A Correction Sergeant on a special assignment may supervise a Correction Officer in maintaining safety and security of all persons and property during the intra-State or inter-State transport of parole violators or inmates via automobile, bus, train, or airplane; directly observe Correction Officer behavior and actions and modify such as necessary to ensure the safe and secure transport of parole violators or inmates; train Correction Officers in appropriate procedures; coordinate and schedule extradition assignments; and evaluate procedures and recommend changes to enhance safety and to ensure the efficient use of Departmental resources.
Correction Sergeants at the Training Academy supervise and participate in the instruction of a group of new Correction Officers (Trainees) or in the development and evaluation of in-service programs for Department staff. They may also supervise and participate in the instruction of Correction Officers for special assignment. Correction Sergeants may perform any of the duties and tasks performed by a Correction Officer on special assignment, including personally transporting violators or inmates between locations. Incumbents would be required to assist the Staff Development Unit in supervising and participating in the instruction of Correction Officers on special assignment.
The Training Academy and special assignment positions are not typical of the class.
Supervise a group of Correction Officers in an assigned area of a correctional facility, or on outside assignments.
· Assign special duties to the Officers.
· Instruct Officers under their supervision in the proper performance of their duties and keep them informed of any changes in policy and procedure, when necessary.
· Observe work performance by touring the facility and by reviewing Officers' written reports.
· While touring the facility, speak with Officers in order to relay special information, changes in duty assignments and other information pertinent to the performance of a Correction Officer's duties.
· Evaluate the performance of each Officer by comparing performance to a standard acceptable performance level, prepare written reports appraising Officer's performance and discuss the report with the Officer.
· Ensure that Correction Officers are alert, appropriately dressed and performing their duties properly.
· Make periodic inspection of outside hospital details as required per policy.
· May be assigned supervision of inmate transportation details due to high profile status or quantity of inmates being transported.
Maintain the order and security of the facility and the general well‑being of the inmates in an assigned area.
· Tour assigned areas of facility to observe and report any violations of accepted security, safety and sanitary standards.
· Periodically inspect equipment, such as locks, doors, bars, etc., for proper functioning and maintenance.
· Coordinate the safety and security measures necessary for direction of inmate work inside and outside of facilities.
· Observe inmate behavior and activities for the purposes of identifying and anticipating behavioral problems and detecting contraband within the facility.
· Observe major movements and large congregations of inmates, such as might exist in mess halls, the outdoor yard, the gymnasium, etc., to ensure proper order and to prevent disruptions.
· Direct Officers to conduct thorough spot searches of inmates to detect and recover contraband and deter its promotion.
· Take direct charge of the security of an area when directly threatened by inmate behavior, including fights or major disturbances.
· Discuss problems with inmates in order to assist them in obtaining appropriate services; explain to inmates the rationale behind actions, rules and regulations affecting them.
· Conduct first level disciplinary hearings on all inmates in assigned area of supervision.
Investigate and report on all behavioral incidents within assigned area.
· Take charge at the scene of an incident.
· Direct Officers in taking measures to quell a disturbance or secure a scene or area of an incident.
· When settled, obtain the facts surrounding the incident by asking pertinent questions of Officers and inmates concerned and then prepare a written report to the shift supervisor.
Act as the Assistant Watch Commander by performing tasks and activities as assigned.
· Assign Officers to their posts and ensure that all posts are covered.
· Maintain work assignment records and other reports, as assigned.
· Conduct roll calls and inform Officers of any changes in rules and regulations.
· Assign overtime to Officers in accordance with procedures and contractual agreements.
· Prepare and maintain work charts and vacation schedules on appropriate equipment in accordance with procedure.
· Prepare staffing requirements for next shift and day.
· Authorize time off for Officers in accordance with policy.
· Maintain work descriptions of all facility assignments and understand the use, care and maintenance of all tools and equipment used by the inmates.
· Coordinate transfers and movement of inmates and trips to and from facility.
In a limited number of cases, the Sergeant may conduct tours of the facility for outside visitors, coordinate security measures with volunteer program staff, and participate as a facility officer at various meetings involving the community or the inmates. In addition to the above, the Sergeant assigned to the Visitation Building:
· Inform visitors of the conditions under which they may visit.
· Observe a large number of visitors during the course of a day to ensure that the introduction of contraband is deterred.
· May be required to resolve any problem concerning the rights of the inmate and his or her visitor.
Participate in the instruction of new employees and the development of training programs for Trainees and current employees while stationed at the Departments Training Academy.
· Supervise classroom activities and the certification of instructors.
· Assist in the development and evaluation of training and in-service programs.
· Perform all related duties as required by Academy management.
INDEPENDENCE OF OPERATION
Immediate and constant supervision of Correction Sergeant positions is not possible due to the size of the facility, variety of inmate activities, or nature of special assignment. However, regular inspection tours by the Watch Commander (Correction Lieutenant) and the assignment of specific activities prior to the beginning of each shift provide for general control of the activities of each Sergeant.
The nature of a Correction Sergeant's activities restricts the relationships to those which almost exclusively involve uniformed and civilian employees and the inmates. Except for a very limited number of positions, which provide tours of the facility or whose area includes the visiting room, construction sites, outside community services, or transport of parole violators, or inmates, Correction Sergeants have limited working relationships with the public.
Relationships among the uniformed security staff are similar to those normally associated with a para-military type organization. Relationships are clearly defined, the Sergeant serving in the capacity of a first‑line supervisor who gives orders or instructions and makes specific assignments to Correction Officers.
Relationships with inmates are frequent as the Sergeant spends a great deal of time in active areas of the facility. For the most part, the relationship usually involves the Sergeant either verbally communicating the basis for a decision or listening to an inmate's complaint or problems and attempting to resolve the issue. In most cases, the Sergeant will interview facility staff and inmates in order to gather information concerning any incident that may have occurred at the facility.
The Sergeant's relationship with higher level supervisory security personnel is most frequently a verbal reporting of problems or achievements and often a brief written factual report of any incident or disruption.
Correction Sergeants functioning as an area supervisor supervise a group of Correction Officers in an assigned area of the facility by assigning, observing and reviewing their tasks and activities. They also direct and control the movement of large numbers of inmates during major activity periods of the shift. As well, they may be responsible for coordination of various crews assigned to community service projects, hospital duty or transportation outside of their assigned facility.
Promotion: three years of permanent competitive service as a Correction Officer or Community Correctional Center Assistant.
NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent, and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.