Corrections and Security Protective Services (College)

by Connie Hensley

This course is designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in corrections and protective services, including security guard. Subjects covered include: powers to arrest, weapons of mass destruction, correctional practices, probation/parole, juvenile process, criminal sanction, court procedures and the legal issues surrounding capital punishment. This course also focuses on issues in the incarceration of women dealing with sexual misconduct and the reunification with their children. Through this course race and punishment are also a focus, due to the variety of viewpoints on the subject.

Program Information
Course Certification Elements
Course Competencies / Outcomes

Discuss the evolution of the correctional system in the United States.

  •   Distinguish between parole and probation.
  •  Explain the legal issues and liabilities that relate to offenders and corrections   personnel.
  •   Distinguish among public and private federal, state and local correctional systems.
  •   Evaluate and analyze the methods used by correctional employees to maintain control of incarcerated persons (inmate accountability, searches,special housing, inmate           discipline and use-of-force issues).
  •   Identify and assess procedures and regulations regarding inmate entitlements (inmate telephone use, correspondence, visiting regulations, grievance procedures and legal activities).
  • Research counseling methods for inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
  •   Examine and describe the processing of inmates into and out of prison (receiving, discharge, classification process).
  •   Examine inmate programs and services and evaluate the effectiveness regarding inmate employment, education, vocational training, recreation activities, religious activities and organizations. 
  •   Examine, discuss and identify the historical context for correctional treatment as well as key concepts and terms.
  •  Discuss and analyze the purpose of correctional counseling and treatment including goals, type of counseling and effectiveness of treatment.
  •   Examine, analyze, and explain Psychoanalytic Therapy, Radical Behavior Interventions, Social Learning Models, Cognitive Therapy, Group Therapy.
  •  Discuss and identify areas of importance in conditions of probation and parole as they apply to the offender. 
  • Organize and develop a cohesive written report, synthesizing several sources, defining problems and formulating conclusions. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic steps of interviewing witnesses, victims and suspects. 
  • Demonstrate the use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
  • Demonstrate report writing of daily activities and irregularities, such as equipment or property damage, theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.
  • Research and discuss security patrolling interior and exterior of courthouse and escorting judges and other court employees.
  • Examine and discuss the screening, controlling, and the handling of evidence and exhibits during court proceedings.
  • Analyze the enforcement of courtroom rules of behavior and warn persons not to smoke or disturb court procedure.
  • Research and discuss written reports to supervisors that contain of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.
  • Develop inmate recreational activities, such as newspapers and self-help groups.
  • Research and critique methods to monitoring conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
  • Research and explain the methods used to administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Research methods used to conduct pre hearing and pre-sentencing investigations and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions.
  • Research institutions and analyse the process of inspecting conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • Discuss methods used to settle disputes between inmates.
  • Research and discuss reports of daily activities and irregularities, such as equipment or property damage, theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.
  • Research the processing or booking of convicted individuals into prison.
Course Work Based Learning Activities

Field Trips

Students will participate in a field trip to a local superior court house to observe court proceedings and interview the following professionals in the criminal justice system. Prior to observations, each student will create questions relevant to the positions held in that profession and the pathway taken to obtain the position.

  1. Court Reporter
  2. Assistant District Attorney
  3. Bailiff or Court Deputy
  4. Judge

Job Shadowing
Students will be responsible for a ride-a-long with a probation or parole officer. The ride-a-long can be either in the field or office.

  •  Students will be able to explain the supervision process, including restitution, pre-sentencing, juvenile process.
  • Students will be able to discuss the chain of command and the juvenile process system.
  • Students will be able to summarize inmate programs and services and evaluate the effectiveness regarding inmate employment, education, vocational training, recreation activities, religious activities and organizations. 

Students will participate in a field trip to an adult facility. 
1. Group homes
2. Drug rehabilitation facilities

  • Students will be able to explain the methods used to administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Students will be able to explain the legal issues and liabilities that relate to offenders and corrections personnel.

Industry Guest Speakers

1. Probation/Parole Officers
2. Correctional personnel department (Human Resources)
3. Court Deputy or Bailiff 
4. Rehabilitated inmate to discuss experience
5. Court reporter

Course Materials

American Corrections, 10th Edition, Todd R. Clear/George F. Cole/ Michael D. Reisig

Bureau of Security Investigation Services (BSIS) online curriculum,testing materials, publications and forms

  • Syllabus is provided by BSIS website
  • Power to Arrest Training Manual is provided by BSIS website
  • The BSIS will provide the DVD's for Weapons of Mass Destruction and student work books
  • Live Scan document
  • Application 

BSIS provides the DVDs upon the issuance of license to educational institution  

Course Units (1 semester course)

Unit 1 Correction System and Systems Framework

Unit Length (Hours): 9

Unit Description:

Students will be given an overview of the purpose of the corrections system along with a systems framework for studying corrections. This will be followed by a study of the corrections system today and key issues in corrections. A large portion of this unit will focus on correctional policies and the social experiment in relating corrections and social control. Students will be exposed to the process of managing the correctional organization, working with offenders, and upholding social values in relation to the correctional system. 

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

  1. Discuss the evolution of the correctional system in the United States.
  2. Explain the legal issues and liabilities that relate to offenders and corrections         personnel
  3.  Identify key issues facing corrections today
  4.  Examine, discuss and identify the historical context for correctional treatment       as well as key concepts and terms
  5. Examine techniques used to supervise and coordinate work of other correctional  service officers.
  6.  Illustrate ways to issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.

Unit Assessment One

Student instruction will take place utilizing the assigned hard-copy textbook, power point presentations, case law studies, short instructional videos and documentaries, internet website searches, and current event studies. Students will be divided into
3- 5 equal groups to research and answer the following prompts at the end of Chapter 1 of American Corrections: Describe the range of purposes served by the corrections system. Define the systems framework and explain why it is useful. Name the various components of the corrections system today and describe their functions. Identify at least five issues facing corrections today, and discuss what we can learn from the “great experiment of social control”. Each student group will then present to the entire class in a powerpoint presentation, billboard or video.

Unit Assessment Two
Students will organize into small groups or pairs. These small groups will plan a visit to a superior court house. Students will observe courtroom procedures and interview the following positions involved in the correctional components and criminal justice systems framework.  Students  will create questions for the following justice positions. Students will create a powerpoint, billboard or video to present the class with what they learned.

Note: If students are unable to visit a superior court house, then research two of the following positions and create a fictitious job flyer for each position, including all relevant information needed to apply for that position. 

  • Judge
  • Bailiff or Court Deputy
  • Court reporter
  • Assistant DA

Unit Assessment Three
Each section will also have a short, multiple-choice quiz and require the writing of a short essay.

Unit 2 Punishment of Offenders and the Law of Corrections

Unit Length (Hours): 7 hours


Unit Description:

Students will be given an overview of the punishment of offenders and the law of corrections. Students will be introduced to the goals of punishment, retribution versus rehabilitation, deterrence theory, dichotomous criminal sanctioning, various sentencing processes, disparities in sentencing and wrongful convictions will be examined. Foundations of correctional law, constitutional amendments that govern prisoner rights, foundations that support the legal rights of prisoners, the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting correctional law, gaining an understanding of the constitutional rights of prisoners, and alternatives to litigation will be analyzed.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

1.  Distinguish among public and private federal, state and local correctional systems.

2.  Evaluate and analyze the methods used by correctional employees to maintain control of incarcerated persons (inmate accountability, searches,special housing, inmate discipline and use-of-force issues).

3. Identify and assess procedures and regulations regarding inmate entitlements (inmate telephone use, correspondence, visiting regulations, grievance procedures and legal activities).

4. Research and discuss security by patrolling interior and exterior of courthouse and escorting judges and other court employees.

5. Examine and discuss the screening, controlling, and the handling of evidence and exhibits during court proceedings.

6. Analyze the enforcement of courtroom rules of behavior and warn persons not to smoke or disturb court procedure.

Unit Assessment One

Student instruction will take place utilizing the assigned hard-copy textbook, power point presentations, case law studies, short instructional videos and documentaries, internet website searches, and current event studies. Students will participate in group based research activity related to chapter questions, present overall findings to the class and answer individual discussion questions based on unit material. 


Unit Assessment Two

Students will be individually responsible for researching and selecting case law specific to correctional law and the Eighth Amendment relating to cruel and unusual punishment. Each student will present an oral presentation defending his or her position.

Unit Assessment Three

Students will take a short multiple-choice question quiz and write a short essay.

Unit 3 Incarceration of Women/Institutional Programs

Unit Length (Hours):  9 Hours

Unit Description:

This section explores the unique differences between male and female inmates and why women are commonly referred to as the “forgotten offenders”. Challenges faced by women in correctional facilities, and the rehabilitation process will be debated. Students will analyze recent developments, programs and recidivism rates among female offenders.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

1. Examine inmate programs and services and evaluate the effectiveness regarding inmate employment, education, vocational training, recreation activities, religious activities and organizations.

2.Discuss and analyze the purpose of correctional counseling and treatment including goals, type of counseling and effectiveness of treatment.

3. Examine and describe the processing of inmates into and out of prison (receiving, discharge, classification process). 

4. Examine, analyze, and explain Psychoanalytic Therapy, Radical Behavior Interventions, Social Learning Models, Cognitive Therapy, Group Therapy and Family Therapy.

5. Develop inmate recreational activities, such as newspapers and self-help groups.

6. Research and discuss written reports to supervisors that contain of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.

Unit Assessment One

Students will research, compare and contrast the pros and cons of correctional job assignments and the problems with the Officer's Role. Students will read an interview with an experienced correctional officer on the following web link at:
http://www.allcriminaljusticeschools.com/legal-careers/corrections/corrections-officer-interview
Following the reading assignment students will share with the class their findings.

Unit Assessment Two

Students will view the National Geographic documentary Hard Times series titled “The Studs” and will reflect on and evaluate reasons female inmates adopt various roles. Students will pair up and compare their reasons with their partner.

Students will design a brochure that highlights rehabilitation programs that will encourage a female prisoner successful reunification with their children upon their release. Students will highlight the programs offered in today’s correctional facilities.

Unit Assessment Three

Students will take a short multiple-choice question quiz and write a short essay.

Unit 4 Race, Ethnicity and Corrections

Unit Length (Hours): 7 hours

Unit Description:

This unit discusses the complexity of race, justice/injustice, and disparate sentencing practices. Socioeconomic status, racial stereotyping and differential criminality will be examined. Correctional policy, criminological theory and race and punishment will be analyzed.

Unit Competencies/ Outcomes

1. Distinguish between the meaning of race and ethnicity.

2. Describe the significance of race and punishment.

3. Examine how varying visions of race and punishment influence our thinking on this issue.

4. Research the processing or booking convicted individuals into prison.

5. Research and critique methods to monitoring conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.

Unit Assessment One

Students will work in pairs to create an illustration depicting the word criminal. The illustration will include both male and female offenders. Students will present their illustration to the class. Students will provide a rationale for why they chose their particular description used for their illustration. Students will discuss their vision of the word criminal and ask the questions: Is this vision typical of most Americans? Why or why not? What could we do to change the stereotypes in society as a whole? 

Unit Assessment Two

National Public Radio’s News and Notes story “Race, Justice and Capital Punishment” (December, 2005) uses the death penalty case of Stanley Tookie Williams to highlight perceptions of racial prejudice in the U.S. justice system.  Students will listen and read the transcript between Chideya and Professor Butler. Students will critique the conversation and create questions from the transcript. Students will analyze the two cases mentioned in the transcript, and answer the following questions: What does commuted mean? What is clemency and pardon and who can grant these?

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5042365

Unit Assessment Three

Students will take a short multiple-choice question quiz and write a short essay.

Unit 5 Death Penalty

Unit Length (Hours): 7

Unit Description:

Students will be given an in-depth understanding of the prison experience.  They will be provided information related to: the inmate code, serving time in prison, types of prisons, prison economy, prison violence, prison segregation, prison gangs, and case law regarding prisons. Students will contrast the issues in the debate over capital punishment, discuss the legal issues that surround the death penalty and characterize the inmates on death row. 

Unit CompetenciesOutcomes

1. Identify and assess the legal issues that surround the death penalty.

2. Describe the types of inmates on death row.

3. Contrast the issues in the debate over capital punishment.

4. Research institutions and analyze the process of inspecting conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.

5.Discuss methods used to settle disputes between inmates.


Unit Assessment One

 Students will work with a partner to create a visual presentation using a short documentary video, one case study, visual graphs and one death penalty story.

Unit Assessment Two

Students will watch the PBS Frontline documentary Death by Fire and take notes for discussion that will take place throughout the documentary.  Key points will be discussed about the defendant’s guilt or innocence.   Students will also debate the pros and cons of taking a plea bargain of life in prison rather than facing a jury and a potential death sentence.  After the debate, students will be placed into small groups to compare findings discussed in the video.

Unit Assessment Three
The class will be split into two groups. Group One will provide arguments supporting capital punishment and Group Two will provide arguments opposing capital punishment. Each group must create a poster board that supports their side and  provide a case that will support their argument.

Unit Assessment Four

Students will take a short multiple-choice question quiz and write a short essay.


Unit 6: PROBATION

Unit Length (Hours): 8 Hours

Unit Description

This unit explores the roots of probation in America, including the history and development of probation.  Topics covered include: functions, major issues, probation conditions, evidence based practice and revocation of probation. The chapter also covers the dynamics that occur among the probation officer, the probationer, and the probation bureaucracy, as well as the effectiveness of probation supervision. Students will be given an overview of the juvenile justice system, the juvenile court system, the juvenile offenders, juvenile crimes, juvenile gangs, juvenile faculties, programs for juveniles.

Unit Competencies/Outcomes

1. Distinguish between parole and probation.

2. Discuss and identify areas of importance in conditions of probation and parole as they apply to the offender.

3. Describe the specific role of each agency that is part of the Juvenile Justice System and the importance of each.

4. Research methods used to conduct pre-hearing and pre-sentencing investigations and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions

Unit Assessment One

Students will be placed in groups of 3-4, create a fictional offender with a complete history, rap sheet,educational attainment level and work records of the probationer. Assign each a role as a Probation Officer, Counselor, pre-sentence investigation (PSI) author and reader. Have each group develop a PSI for this offender.

Students in the same group will create a Supervision Plan using evidence-based practice for their probationer. Students will include all programs needed to complete probation, including restitution.Students will include performance-based supervision which emphasizes “result” in setting priorities and selecting programs. Students need to create strategies used for probationer success.

Unit Assessment Two

Students will create a profile folder and make copies for other groups to read. Students will compare in class not only the differences that appear as a result of the difference of perspective, but also the differences based upon the individual performing the PSI evaluation.

Unit Assessment Three

Students will organize  times for visits to a juvenile facility, ride-along with a probation officer or parole officer. Prior to visits or ride-alongs, each group will prepare relevant questions to ask those who hold the position. 
Note: If students are unable to complete any of the following, another option is to research an interview on You Tube.

Unit Assessment Four

Students will take a short multiple-choice question quiz and write a short essay.

Unit 7: Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Awareness

Unit Length (Hours): 4

Unit Description

Students gain an understanding of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism awareness, the role of a security officer as it pertains to WMD and terrorism and the nature of terrorism, the types of weapons of mass destruction, the coordination and sharing of critical information, the local Homeland Security and first responder agencies and methods of contact for each security officers guidelines for emergencies, the common types of emergencies: traffic accidents, fires, bombs and bomb threats, severe weather/natural disasters and unruly crowds and demonstration, clear critical thinking when responding to an emergency, and emergency situations to proper responding authorities. The training will utilize the Department of Consumer Affairs' Weapons of Mass Destruction & Terrorism Awareness for Security Professionals course consisting of a Digital Video Disk (DVD), Student Workbook and Facilitator Manual that is available through the bureau.

Unit Competencies/Outcomes

1. Differentiates amongst the types of weapons of mass destruction.

2. Demonstrates clear critical thinking when responding to an emergency.

3. Examines, analyzes, and explains common types of emergencies: traffic accidents, fires, bombs and bomb threats, severe weather/natural disasters and unruly crowds and demonstrations.

4. Reports and describes emergency situations to proper responding authorities.

5. Describes and discusses security officer's guidelines for emergencies.

6.Evaluate methods used to respond to medical emergencies by administering basic first aid or by obtaining assistance from paramedics.

Unit Assessment One 
Students will work in groups of three to research a school near them, draw an illustration of the school including all buildings, streets, housing near by, entries and exits. Students will examine the school structure and identify hazardous areas and possible locations of a terrorist attack. They will research the school website for the school safety plan, identify key issues with the plan and develop alternatives to the issues. For example: Fire alarm rings and the school is structured so that students meet on the black top or in an open area, such as the soccer field. What key issues do you identify? Students will evaluate and analyze the school's current emergency plan, address its issue(s) and create a new emergency plan.

Unit Assessment Two
Students will view the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) DVD as a class. In groups of three or more students will complete 1-7 activities provided in the WMD Student Workbook. Within the workbook students will examine and differentiate terrorist activity, ways in which a terrorist organization might try to recruit members, and how terrorists fund their terrorist acts. They will continue to work in groups to examine, analyze, and explain past terrorist acts, and whether they were international, domestic or non-credible threats. Students will create pocket brochures that include, "Suspicious Factors," and phone numbers in order to report suspicious behaviors.  

Unit Assessment Three

Students will review the WMD student workbook and complete all eight activities. The final is  Activity 8. This activity reviews all major components within the handbook. Students must complete all eight activities for their state license which counts toward the eight mandatory hours for the guard card.

Note: Following the 8 hours: 4 hours WMD and 4 hours Powers to Arrest students will be provided with a signed application from the instructor to apply for the guard card. Students must have the forms for the live scan that needs to be completed first.

Note: The BSIS requires that each student be provided with a certificate of completion that has a serial number on it for authenticity. The certificate must have the following information:

1. Students complete name

2. The date of completion

3. Serial number (Use the students school ID number)

4. Must say Weapons of Mass Destruction and Powers to Arrest

5. 8 Hours

6. Instructors signature and the Administrator in charge signature

Unit 8: Powers to Arrest

Unit Length (Hours): 5

Unit Description

Students gain an understanding of the Powers to Arrest Manual and subject matter including: arrest and the implications to the subject, the guard and the company, the escalation and de-escalation techniques in the use of  force, the use of restraint techniques and their implications, trespass laws and implications of enforcement, and will complete the Power to Arrest Training Manual Test, in accordance with the Manual's Administering Instructions, with a 100% score.

Unit Competencies/Outcomes

1. Organize and develop a cohesive written report in the narrative format, synthesizing several sources, defining problems and formulating conclusions. 

2.Demonstrate an understanding of the basic steps of interviewing witnesses, victims and suspects.  

3. Explain the legal issues surrounding private and public security rulings.

4. Defines and discusses the authorities and laws of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Civil, Criminal and Common Law.

5. Demonstrate the proper use of handheld pack sets and the use of communication phonics and codes.

6. Research and discuss report writing of daily activities and irregularities, such as equipment or property damage, theft, presence of unauthorized persons, or unusual occurrences.

7. Demonstrate the use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.

Unit Assessment One

Students will pair up and research the following two cases: Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985) and People v. Garcia (1969) 274 Cal.App.2d 100. They will  demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the cases by creating a power point, billboard or video describing the incident, was it civil or criminal?, and was the use of force reasonable? Students will identify and discuss with the class the penal codes in each case and explain whether the search and seizure was reasonably related to the justification of the incident. 

Unit Assessment Two

Instructor will recruit a student from another class, or a staff member, to participate in an eyewitness exercise. Without prior knowledge this individual will run into the classroom, grab the instructors brief case or any such item and run out. Students will not collaborate with other students, as they are now an eye witness to the fictitious thief. Each student will organize and develop a cohesive written report, synthesizing several sources, defining problems and formulating conclusions. Students will use the narrative format. Within this report students will identify the model penal code.

Students will pair up with same sex, ( example, female to female), hide an object within their clothing, such as a ruler or metal type object and prepare for demonstration of a frisk. Each student will explain the process of the frisk and the reason for the frisk.

Unit Assessment Three

Students will read through the Powers to Arrest Manual and complete study questions 1-64. Following a review students will be provided with the Final Examination questions (located on the BSIS website) and a sheet of lined paper. Students will answer questions 1-44 of the Final Exam. Students must pass with 100%, and are afforded opportunity to re-answer questions they initially missed.

Note: Following the WMD DVD and handbook and Powers to Arrest Final Exam, students will be provided with the Live Scan and Application that is signed by the instructor. Students will be responsible for the Live Scan fee that is approximately $70 and the application fee that is $50. Upon receiving the license students must renew it on the website (costs $35) every two years. 

Course Summative Assessment

Part I: All students are required to complete Activity 8 (10 multiple choice questions) at the end of the WMD workbook.

Part II: All students are required to complete Powers to Arrest Final Exam (44 multiple choice questions) with 100% accuracy.

Part III: Each student will choose 2 of the 8 units, create a video that is 5-7 minutes long describing what they learned from those units using specific details. In the same video students will also include a short evaluation of the class including what they wished they could have learned.