Shared Flashcard Set


BJOC 2.2 - Basic Jail Security Procedures
Basic Jail Security Procedures Study Set for BJOC - Georgia - Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council - POST
Criminal Justice

Additional Criminal Justice Flashcards





BJOC 2.2 - Basic Jail Security Procedures

Terminal Performance Objective (TPO):



Given the need for student comprehension, the student will explain the reasons for security in the jail and the underlying principles that support them with special emphasis on patrol procedures, types of security equipment, basic procedures given to inventory, and the issuance and handling procedures for keys and tools in accordance with the Basic Jail Officer Reference Textbook.


BJOC 2.2 - Basic Jail Security Procedures




As a result of this instruction, the student will be able to:

2.2.1        Identify the three primary objectives of a security program.

2.2.2        Describe reasons for patrolling in the jail.

2.2.3        Identify the different types of inmate counts.

2.2.4        Identify the principles and purposes of conducting the different types of counts.

2.2.5        Identify the purpose for controlling the admission of weapons into the jail.

2.2.6        Identify appropriate officer safety techniques when:

a.       walking in the facility

b.      breaking up fights between inmates

c.       confronted by an armed inmate

2.2.7        Identify best practices by officers regarding movement in the jail.

2.2.8        Identify the purpose of lock, key and tool control.

2.2.9        Identify steps to take in a facility lockdown.

What elements should an effective security plan include?


An effective jail security plan will include:

·        Admission of the inmate

·        Escorting inmates to court, medical appointments, funeral homes, hospitals  and other jails or institutions

·        Counts

·        Release procedures

·        Control of drugs and medications

·        Use and maintenance of security equipment

·        Control of contraband

·        Tool and key control

·        Development of security policies, plans, and procedures


What are the objectives of a jail security program?


·        Identify proposed action – The purpose of a plan is to have in place specific and detailed ways to react to certain situations.

·        Identification of goals – Define the expected goals and expectations of the security action to be taken. Goals answer the questions of what should result from the security activity.

·        Specify resources to be used – While officers equipment, technical resources, and the physical plant itself may be resources available to officers in times of need, it is possible special funds may also be needed.

·        Establish time lines – Definite time requirements and adherence to schedules is critical to a good security plan. However, schedules must also be flexible for not all situations that arise in a jail are the same. Activities such as cell searches and counts should be alternated to prevent inmates from learning officer schedules or routines, and taking advantage of a rigid and known schedule. Achieving the established security objectives must be measured not only in the success of achievements but also the amount of officer time that is utilized.

·        Establish flexibility – A security plan must anticipate, detect and report errors before they become an issue. The plan itself should be monitored constantly for effectiveness. Officers and jail administrators must constantly monitor all issues pertaining to security and make needed adjustments to the daily operation of the jail and the jail security plan.


What are a jail officer’s “patrol” responsibilities? 


The responsibility the jail officer has for patrolling the inside of a jail is no different than those of a road deputy patrolling the streets. Both officers are responsible for:


·        Preventing criminal activity in their assigned area

·        Maintaining peace

·        Protecting people, their property, and their welfare.


What is the major difference between a jail officer and a road deputy? 


The major difference between the jail officer and the road deputy involves the type of “community” patrolled. The patrol officer patrols an open community for the most part of law-abiding citizens. The jail officer operates in a closed community consisting of people who are either accused or convicted of committing violations of the law.


What information must a jail officer know to be an effective patrol officer? 


By knowing the “geography” of his jail, a jail officer becomes better acquainted with his patrol area and becomes a more effective officer.


While patrolling in the jail, what are some sign of impending trouble?


·        Obvious tension in the air. The atmosphere of the cell block may seem as if it is charged with electricity.

·        An increase in the number of request for transfer to different housing or work assignments.

·        Racial or ethnic slurs by inmates at each other or racial or ethnic remarks directed at officers by inmates.

·        Increasing infractions of the jail rules.

·        An unusual accumulation of commissary items in the cells.

·        Missing tools.

·        Attempts to cover security cameras.

How trustworthy are informants? 

Just remember, there really is no such thing as a “trustee”.  All inmates are looking out for themselves. If they observe a weakness in or negligence by an officer, they will always use it to their advantage. Do not do special favors such as bringing items into the jail or carrying items out of the jail for an inmate.

What equipment should be checked each day by each shift? 

Each shift should check daily:

·        Check all fire extinguishers to make sure they are full.

·        Check all fire alarms to assure they are in proper working order.

·        If breathing apparatus is available for officers to use during fires, make sure they are in operable condition.

·        Check fire hoses to assure they are connected to a water supply and have no visible cracks or holes in the hose.

·        Check emergency exits to make sure they work properly, are not blocked, and are properly marked and lit.

·        Test all openings with security coverings to be certain they are securely locked.

·        Test all telephones and intercoms for proper performance.

·        Record all burned out lights and see that they are replaced.

·        Determine that the emergency lighting system is in proper working order.

·        Assure that any mechanical surveillance device is in working order and that mirrors revealing blind spots are properly positioned.

·        Check for: broken windows, bars that bear sawing marks, defective hinges, uplifted floor tiles, holes in the walls, holes cut into mattresses. 

·        If the jail uses “inmate workers” or tier runners, determine at the beginning of the shift who is working where and who is authorized to do what.

·        Pay particular attention to inmate behavior. An inmate who is normally friendly and talkative that suddenly becomes quiet or withdrawn should be removed from the housing unit immediately as well as those who seem suddenly agitated. The same is true for those that are by nature quiet and withdrawn who suddenly become excited. These inmates should be interviewed to determine the sudden change in behavior and may require medical treatment.

·        The way in which inmates wear their jail uniforms may suggest gang affiliation.

·        Inappropriate interaction between other officers and inmates should be reported to supervisors.


List the different types of inmate counts and describe each type. 



Formal counts: Formal counts are made at specified times throughout a twenty-four hour period when the entire inmate population is accounted for.

·        All inmate movement, talk, and television privileges cease from the time the count starts until the count is cleared as correct.

·        Each inmate is counted at a specific location at specified times.

·        A report of the actual count of each group of inmates is made to a central location where all reports are checked and verified that the total facility count is correct and all inmates are accounted for.  Then and only then are inmates allowed to resume their prior activities.




Census counts are irregular checks made by officers to verify all inmates under their charge are present. Counts of this nature are conducted while the inmates are in their assigned living or work area. Generally:

·        This count is made at frequent and irregular intervals during the shift.

·        Report of this count is made only when an inmate is missing unless required by facility policy and procedures.


Emergency counts: Emergency counts are made after an emergency or unusual occurrence such as a fire, escape, or power failure. Emergency counts are conducted in the same manner as a formal count.


What rules should be followed to prevent the officer from becoming distracted during a count?

Do not allow any part of the count procedures to break down. Except when sleeping, all inmates must present themselves at the designated location for count; no exceptions. When inmates are in their cells have them face the officer; do not count the back of the head or shoulders. Be suspicious of inmates who have their heads partially covered or wrapped in a towel or bathrobe. When making counts at night use available light and flash lights judiciously.  However, be positive you are counting an inmate.  

Who is allowed to carry a firearm into the jail? 

No person carrying a firearm should EVER be allowed admittance inside the jail.

What guidelines should an officer observe when walking down hallway with blind doorways or corners?

  When walking down hallways with blind doorways or corners, be alert. Walk on the outside wall when approaching blind corners and doorways.

How should a jail officer respond when confronted with an armed inmate? 

 When faced with an armed inmate, attempt to retreat and get backup. If retreat is impossible or not practical:   

·        Move slowly

·        Allow the inmate to talk

·        Talk in a calm voice to the inmate

·        Try to keep something between you and the inmate

·        Don’t corner the inmate; give the inmate a means of escape if possible

·        Remain calm and access an escape route for yourself.


Be cautious and follow proper procedure. Mistakes can be a learning experience for co-workers; FATAL for you.

List the general guidelines regarding facility lockdown. 

The following are general guidelines regarding facility lockdowns:

·        Notify the central control room to contact the appropriate personnel and any additional officers who can respond quickly.


·        Make all personnel aware of the situation, what your needs are, and what is expected.


·        Make sure all inmates are in their cells or dorms.


·        Conduct a formal count.


·        Identify the trouble and concentrate on resolving the issue as quickly as possible, while maintaining the safety and security of the inmates and responding staff.

Describe the characteristics of and purpose for emergency keys.

A special set of keys must be designated for emergency use only, including keys for all emergency exits and inmate living areas. The keys on this set should be color coded and notched so as to make them easily identifiable in total darkness or smoke filled conditions.

When should all keys and tools be accounted for? 

As with keys, account for all tools at each shift change.

Supporting users have an ad free experience!