Correctional counselors are trained to provide individual/group therapy to people incarcerated in correctional facilities, whether it is to help alleviate mental health issues, develop better social skills or teach them how to cope with life stressors more productively. Correctional counselors also offer assistance to prisoners who are suffering from a drug addiction and want to enter a recovery center upon release from jail or prison. Fundamentally, a correctional counselor supports inmates in maximizing their potential for success following release from jail as a way to reduce recidivism.
Requirements for Obtaining a Degree in Correctional Counseling
Correctional counseling is a subfield of psychology and criminal justice so courses will overlap each of these degree categories. A typical correctional counseling degree program will include these classes:
Correctional counselors must also maintain accurate and detailed records of their clients' history and regularly offer evaluations of each client to the supervisor of a prison's counseling program. Often, correctional counselors are totally responsible for helping prisoners change their lives by providing in-depth psychological services to address individual mental health issues. They may also continue assisting clients once they have been released from a correctional facility.
- Developmental, abnormal and social psychology
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Principles and concepts of counseling techniques
- Ethical issues
- Therapuetic alliances
- Principles of theoretical counseling
- Behavioral family therapy
- Fundamentals of neuroscience (biomedical theories of mental illness and personality disorders)
- Co-occurring disorders (mental illness and substance abuse)
- Counseling juvenile offenders
- Developing individual treatment plans
- Criminal justice system (overview of the arrest and incarceration procedure)
Employment Outlook for Correctional Counselors
As the prison population continues to expand globally, the need for correctional counselors will also increase. Students wanting a degree in correctional counseling should be prepared to enter a rewarding but tough, sometimes dangerous career field that requires counselors to be compassionate yet firm with prisoners who may be manipulative and unwilling to change their life perspective.
Get Your Degree!
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer