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Prison wardens are high-ranking officials who oversee prisons. They are responsible for the safe, secure, and efficient operation of prisons. They also oversee all prison staff to ensure proper and consistent adherence to all applicable laws, rules, standards, and facility-specific policies.

Prison wardens are employed at all levels of government and the private sector. They work in the Bureau of Prisons within the U.S. Department of Justice, state prisons, and private prisons that contract with states. City and county governments operate jails. Jail wardens do the same job as prison wardens, but the facilities have different populations. Jails hold people serving short sentences and those awaiting trial, while prisons house inmates with lengthier sentences.



Prison wardens are generally responsible for the following:

  • Supervise all prison staff for both juveniles and adults.
  • Determine staffing needs and allocate available staff accordingly.
  • Ensure that staff stays compliant by adhering to all laws, rules, and standards that govern how prisons operate, as well as to the facility policies and procedures approved by the warden.
  • 监督员工培训并要求有关培训活动的常规数据报告,包括违法性的重复培训。
  • 监督或进行调查,对所谓的不当行为进行调查,并采取纪律处分,如果认为有必要。
  • Ensure that the facility and security equipment are properly functioning to keep staff safe.
  • 管理涉及建筑物和地面维护的预算和监控费用,以及大量的医疗保健,食品服务和洗衣费用。

Prison wardens supervise all prison staff, which include correctional officers, health care professionals, counselors, maintenance staff, and custodial staff. They delegate responsibilities and make all final decisions. Prisons rarely house both adult and juvenile offenders, however, when they do, those two populations maintain physical distance between each other. Wardens who administer juvenile prisons manage juvenile correctional officers instead of correctional officers for adults.

A warden ensures the staffing needs of the prison are met at all times. They determine staffing needs and allocate available staff according to those needs. When needs are not met by available resources, a warden prioritizes staffing functions that must be covered, those that can be partially covered, and those that can be foregone for a period of time. When resources are strained, wardens advocate for more resources with their managers.

When it is alleged that a staff member acted inappropriately, the warden either investigates the situation or appoints someone to do the job. Either way, the warden ensures that the investigation is thorough, fair, and reaches the appropriate conclusion. If the staff member is found to have acted inappropriately, the warden decides what personnel actions will be taken against the staff member.

Prison Warden Salary

A prison warden's salary can vary greatly and depends on the state in which they work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes prison wardens under the category correctional officers and jailers,which earned the following salary:

  • Median Annual Salary:$ 44,330($ 21.31/小时)
  • 最高10%的年薪:$ 76,760($ 36.90/小时)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary:$31,140 ($14.97/hour)

Source美国劳工统计局, 2018

PayScale also provides salary information for prison wardens, with figures higher than those provided by the BLS:

  • Median Annual Salary:$87,099 ($41.87/hour)
  • 最高10%的年薪:$144,002 ($69.23/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary:$54,715 ($26.31/hour)

Sourcepayscale.com, 2019

Education, Training, & Certification


  • Education:雇主通常要求候选人拥有学士或副学士学位,最好是犯罪学,刑事司法,社会工作或司法管理。一些监狱监狱长可以拥有商业管理或矫正管理硕士学位。课程通常涵盖犯罪,少年犯罪,研究和报告技能,法医科学和调查技能以及犯罪与司法系统的历史的社会和心理方面。
  • Training:候选人必须在担任警察,惩教官,政府职员或政府承包商的矫正方面具有丰富的经验。这种经验必须包括作为主管的时间,理想情况下,在多个职位上责任增加。
  • Certification:Positions in this industry may require extensive post-certification training or other credentials. TheAmerican Correctional Association(ACA) offers certifications for those looking to advance and gain recognition in the field. To become certified, candidates must complete a self-study program followed by successful completion of an exam.
  • Background check:候选人需要拥有清洁的犯罪历史,没有重罪定罪,干净的毒品屏幕以及拥有或拥有枪支的资格。

Prison Warden Skills & Competencies

This career requires the following skills:

  • Physical and mental stamina:Wardens must be able to control the prison environment to minimize the likelihood of violent events that can lead to serious injuries and fatalities among prisoners and staff.
  • Leadership:为了获得和保持员工的尊重,守望者必须表现出良好的领导能力和对刑事司法领域的深入了解。
  • 口头沟通技巧:监狱长代表监督当局和外部实体的监狱。即使监狱可能有一个public information officer, news reporters may want to interview the warden. Therefore, wardens must polish their public speaking skills.
  • 批判性思维技能:当面对可能的违规行为时,监狱监狱长必须分析和评估情况以确定最合适的解决方案。
  • 业务管理技能:经营监狱需要管理预算和监控费用,并监督建筑物和地面的维护。
  • Negotiation skills:这re may be violent or contentious incidents that require good negotiation skills to diffuse situations before they become life-threatening.
  • Self-defense skills:犯人可能是不可预知的,变得暴力at times, requiring wardens to protect themselves from harm.

对于许多担任监狱监狱长职位的人来说,这是他们退休前的最后一份工作。监狱长是经验丰富的专业人士knowledge, skills, and abilitiesover a long career.

Job Outlook

这美国劳工统计局does not provide employment information specifically for prison wardens. However, it does provide information for correctional officer jobs, which are projected to decline by 7% until 2026. State and local budget constraints and prison population levels will determine how many correctional officers are necessary.



Wardens serve as incident commanders in emergency situations. They snap into action to direct resources toward abating the emergency and addressing the aftermath. They do this until they get help from outside the prison from organizations such as the National Guard or the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Even when their authority is superseded by a new incident commander, the warden is an integral part of the incident command structure because of the volatile nature of prison populations.

Work Schedule

Constant security is needed at all hours, seven days a week, so rotating shifts will occur throughout the day and night. Officers can expect to work a rotating schedule to include weekends.

How to Get the Job


North American Association of Wardens & Superintendents(NAAWS) and theAmerican Correctional Association(ACA)为行业专业人员提供资源,例如职位发布。


Membership in organizations such as theU.S. Deputy Warden's Association(UDWA) and the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) can introduce you to other industry professionals, which can lead to a job.


Wardens are hired through the normalgovernment hiring process。由于这些职位的个人可以直接接触囚犯,因此雇主进行犯罪历史和背景调查。重罪使个人失去就业资格。在延长工作机会之前,经常要求决赛入围者接受药物测试。

Because the position has such a high level of responsibility and because the warden’s supervisor does not have an office at the prison,panel interviews通常在招聘过程中使用。这种采访有助于招聘经理减轻他们可能拥有的任何偏见的影响。招聘经理必须能够信任新员工,但他们不想错过这种信任。小组成员提供了他们应该雇用谁的意见,但招聘经理的最终决定仍然存在。

Comparing Similar Jobs

People interested in a prison warden career may also want to consider the following jobs, along with the median annual salary:

Source美国劳工统计局, 2018