BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — A new law in South Carolina means anyone who is qualified and over the age of 18 can now work in a state or local correction center.

Once hired, the new officers will have 11 weeks of training with supervision. They must complete four weeks of pre-service training, four weeks with a field training officer, and three weeks at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

“It’s always been a calling to serve,” said Major Latasha Robinson.

Deputy Beaufort County Detention Center Major Latasha Robinson started in 2006, but actually came years earlier, when she was just 18, to start a career.

Then by law it wasn’t allowed. But the recent change in state law has dropped the starting age so teens can come and work.

“An 18-year-old will be prepared because we will prepare them,” Robinson said. “We will give them the training and the tools they need to manage the people here.”

Training which Robinson says is valuable not just for the position, but for someone’s future.

“You learn verbal communication, how to listen,” explains Robinson. “We also teach how to problem solve. because we don’t have weapons here so we have to be able to communicate well to deescalate many situations.”

Those situations Robinson says are few and far between.

More of the job she believes is working to not just keep the peace, but keep folks from coming back to jail.

“These are the same people you see in Walmart, Publix,” says the Major. “The goal is to keep them from coming back. Identify those factors that keep them coming back and identify those issues.”

“We’ve had many success stories they come back and say guess what Major, I’m working now I have a job. That’s the end goal.”

A goal that’s made tougher right now with the Detention Center 30 of 120 officers down.

The Major hopes that others will feel the same calling she did and make this a career, or use it as a stepping stone to other law enforcement jobs, or an even better long term future.

“That’s what a corrections officer is someone who has a core the foundation of integrity and we can teach the rest.”

Requirements to become a Beaufort County Correctional Officer:

  • 21 years of age minimum.
  • High School graduate or G.E.D.
  • Valid drivers license
  • Clean criminal record (no convictions for a felony, serious misdemeanor, or crimes of moral turpitude).
  • No convictions of Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV).
  • No crimes of moral turpitude as defined by S.C. Courts, Attorney General Opinion, and Law Enforcement Training Council.
  • Clean driving record (no DUI or DUS convictions within last 5 years, good overall record).
  • Satisfactory credit history.
  • Must complete written standards test.
  • Must pass Detention Center intensive background investigation.
  • Must successfully pass oral interview board.
  • Must pass drug screen.
  • Must pass doctor’s physical prior to attending the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy.
  • Must agree to be assigned to any shift in department where vacancies exist.
  • Must be able to successfully complete S.C. Criminal Justice Academy prior to first year anniversary on job.
  • Information and Benefits
  • All equipment provided by the department. (Uniforms, handcuffs, boots, duty belt etc.)
  • 14 Days paid annual leave.
  • 13 paid holidays, including one personal holiday.
  • Paid sick leave.
  • Member S.C. Police Officers Retirement System.
  • Health, Dental & Life Insurance provided.
  • The wage starting as a correctional officer trainee is $20.04.
  • “Professional Enhancement” incentive program.
  • Supplemental pay for bilingual (Spanish).

For more information and how to apply, click or tap here.