Job Description - Detention Officer

Performs responsible protective service work ensuring the care and security of inmates at the County Jail; does related work as required.  Work is performed under regular supervision.

This is medium work requiring the exertion of 50 pounds of force occasionally, up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects; work requires stooping, kneeling, reaching, standing, walking, pulling, fingering, and grasping; vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word, and conveying detailed or important instructions to others accurately, loudly, or quickly; hearing is required to perceive information at normal spoken word levels, and to receive detailed information through oral communications and/or to make fine distinctions in sound; visual acuity is required for depth perception, color perception, peripheral vision, preparing and analyzing written or computer data, operation of motor vehicles or equipment, determining the accuracy and thoroughness of work, and observing general surroundings and activities; the worker is subject to inside and outside environmental conditions, and noise.  The worker may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens and may be required to wear specialized personal protective equipment.


  • Processing inmates; maintaining jail security; serving meals; transporting inmates.

  • Receives and processes inmates into custody of institution; searches prisoners; takes charge of personal property.
  • Provides inmates opportunity to call attorney or relative; advises inmates on institutional rules and regulations.
  • Patrols jail area periodically to insure security and maintain order.
  • Transports inmates to medical, court and related facilities.
  • Supervises inmates during meals, personal hygiene and related activities for conformance to institutional rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Escorts and safeguards inmates to cell; checks on inmates' physical condition.
  • Receives, counts, records and washes all laundry in the jail.
  • Dispenses personal and cell cleaning equipment; keeps record of money received from inmates.
  • Distributes medication to inmates as prescribed or directed.
  • Prepares routine records on inmates; performs general clerical duties.
  • Ensures the care and maintenance of quarters.
  • Records visits; inspects items brought into the jail; checks incoming and outgoing mail.
  • Investigates crimes and critical incidents; collects evidence; makes arrests; testifies in court.
  • Performs related tasks as required.

Some knowledge of the security, rules, regulations and procedures of the institution; some knowledge of the practices of modern penology as related to the supervision and care of persons under institutionalized restraint; ability to enforce institutional rules firmly and fairly; ability to detect potential behavior problems of inmates; ability to detect the early symptoms of common health problems; ability to carry out oral and written directions accurately; ability to supervise the activities of large groups of inmates; ability to prepare records and reports; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates.

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school.

Possession of or ability to obtain Basic Law Enforcement certificate issued by the State of South Carolina within one (1) year of employment.  Must meet and maintain minimum qualifications for the position established by the department and the State of South Carolina.  Possession of appropriate driver's license valid in the State of South Carolina.