Prison Warden Career, Job, Degrees and Training Information

What Does a Prison Warden Do?

Prison wardens supervise and manage adult correctional facilities. They must understand correctional administration, operations, and security procedures, maintain records and supervise inmates. Prison wardens plan, administer, organize, monitor, control, and evaluate the functions of a prison. Prison wardens are ultimately responsible for the custody, feeding, housing, care, treatment, rehabilitation, discipline, and training of inmates. Wardens also supervise and manage the staff.

Wardens determine operating procedures, review reports, develop budgets, and hire and train prison staff. Wardens are also responsible for public relations. They prepare statements, reports, and press releases, as well as deliver speeches about policies and programs. They also address citizen groups, legislators, and the media regarding prison policies. Proposed legislation affecting prisons must be reviewed by wardens, and then they must brief their staff on any policy changes. A prison warden must understand the laws and regulations governing prisons as well as being good people managers.

Prison Warden Working Conditions

Since wardens work in prisons, there is the possibility they could be injured. Their offices are located at the prison, and they often come into contact with inmates. Needless to say, the job is very stressful.

Prison Warden Qualifications, Job Training, and Promotion

  • GED or high school diploma
  • Associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or corrections
  • 1 or more years of correctional facility management
  • Candidates must pass a background check, drug test, and a polygraph test

Prison Warden Salary, Earnings and Wage Information

Most prison wardens begin their careers earning about $43,000 annually. After becoming more experienced, you will earn a higher annual salary. Some prison wardens working at big prisons earn more than $100,000 annually.

Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,,

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