CDCR extends hold on Correctional Officer applications

The effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to bolster its corps of Correctional Officers has been so successful that it is extending a temporary moratorium on new applications until it whittles down a backlog of applications it has already received.

Faced with a backlog of 32,000 applications in a recruitment campaign that began two and one-half years ago, CDCR is extending the hold on new applications until April 1, 2016.

The recruitment campaign began in July 2013 with a goal of hiring 7,000 Correctional Officers to compensate for a large number of retirements among officers who joined CDCR as it expanded its size 30 years ago.  Construction of new facilities in recent years to provide medical and mental health services, including the California Health Care Facility in Stockton, also created a demand for more officers.

Through December 2015, 5,213 cadets completed the application and screening process and attended CDCR’s training academy.  Of those, 4,913 have graduated and accepted work assignments in either adult or juvenile offender facilities.

During the moratorium, CDCR will continue to screen applications it has already received and will continue to begin a new cadet training academy every four weeks.

Applicants with questions can call (916) 255-2500 for more information.


63 Responses

  1. juan morales Wednesday, June 15, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I Just took the written exam and received a 75 and veteran rating on top of that. Online I got passing scored and I been schedule for the Physical portion. Can anyone in the agency tell me if getting a 75 and VA rating on top of that do I still are schedule for the PT test? online everything shows as im still in the running to continue.

  2. Joe Tuesday, March 8, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    Amazing… a lot of you guys are asking questions that are already explained on this website. Please take the time to read what’s provided to you or call the number that’s given at the end of the article above. Not every candidate’s experience will be similar so it’s unwise to ask personal questions to complete strangers on this comment section. You don’t know whether their answers are accurate, outdated or just straight up bogus. Everything I needed to know when I went through this process over three years ago now was answered on this websites provided information and through the emails I’ve received from OPOS as I completed each selection component. Again, your questions are more than likely already answered for you on this website.

  3. Olio Tuesday, March 8, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    Great News for me!
    Got a phone call yesterday.. Employment offer. With limited details they said report to the office next month. No mention of salary or anything else. Question for all CO’s..
    1. Whats the length of academy? I heard 8-10 Weeks

    2. What is the pay? Does the pay while on academy change after graduation?

    3. How can we prepare ourselves for academy?


    • Mar Tuesday, March 8, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      LAPD is not the same as CDCR.The acadamy for CDCR is 12 weeks.

    • Mullen Wednesday, March 9, 2016 / 7:08 pm

      I believe academy is 12 weeks now. Pay and benefits during academy. $3,000 a month during academy then $3,700 after academy which is the first pay range. After that you go to higher pay ranges. I am NOT a CO but that’s the most current I have read.

  4. Mullen Monday, March 7, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    I just took my CVSA exam today. Any thoughts when I will find out if I passed?

  5. Pending Candidate Saturday, March 5, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    To JL,
    Thanks for the heads up on how cadets are rolling out of the academy. Could you share how well you like/love/dislike being a CO? Thanks for the input. Also, since you have made it, any tips for the rest of the community trying to join the ranks?

    • JL Friday, March 18, 2016 / 11:57 pm

      Well, it is what it is, so to speak. You already know what you’re getting yourself into before you get here. These guys aren’t here because they were caught singing too loud in church. These guys are the baddest of society and you have to always remember that. At the same time, while they’re in here, you’ve still got to be able to effectively communicate with them on a daily basis. You don’t have to sit there and chat like you are best friends, but be civil to them and they will be civil to you. Make a statement as soon as you get to your first housing unit. Guys will try and pull a fast one on you. Some times they’ll succeed; it’s just part of the business. f you see anyone trying to be foolish, nip it in the behind as soon as you can or they will continue to act foolish.

      The academy is not going to teach you what attitude to bring when you get here, or what kind of demeanor you should have upon arriving. Don’t try and be a tough guy if you’re not a tough guy. Just be yourself; listen, take notes, and have a good memory. There’s thousands of them, and only one of you and so it’s easier for them to remember who you are and what you did or didn’t do for them in the past. Pick and choose your battles, and if push comes to shove, call your S&E before things get out of hand. Always have your backup before entering into any kind of situation.

      Aside from all that, the pay is great; can’t complain there. Our union is working on a new contract that may help us obtain a little more money in our pockets and sort out a few other things as well.

      I myself have found 1st watch to be the most beneficial to my scheduling. It’s 10p-6a, most of these guys are asleep. The most important thing to do on 1st watch is your counts. My first night here a couple guys tried to hide behind their bunks and doors, and my count was off twice. This brought the watch commander, program seargeant, and a few other powers that be to my front door step of my unit. The guys quit acting up and we cleared count, but it was a little nerve-wracking having all that power at my podium at 1 o’clock in the morning! Since then I have not had any problems, and I bounce around at five different housing units now. There’s more action on 2nd watch, and most guys seem to want to be there, but it doesn’t help me because I can’t get my kid to school or pick him up. So 1st watch seems to work out. You’ll find your home once you’ve been here for a bit and things will just seem to make sense. Take everything with a grain of salt. Sometimes your partners will have more harsh things to say than the inmates. Don’t go home mad. It’s just a job and it’ll be there for the next 20+ years. Don’t stress yourself out, and don’t let anyone take your money.

  6. Eddie Saturday, March 5, 2016 / 6:08 am

    What comes after the psychological screening? How long to get a response?

  7. Pending Candidate Thursday, March 3, 2016 / 1:40 am

    If the information on the CDCR website is accurate, which I am sure it is, the department needs 7,000 COs. To date they have appointed 4,913 COs. That means that they only have available positions for about 2,087 officers. This is all up to date from December 2015, with a new class convening every four weeks. So depending on the size of classes that graduate every four weeks, will determine the available positions and how quickly the process will go.

    I personally applied in March 2015, and just barely took my written exam in Feb, 2016. I am supposedly scheduled for the PAT sometime in April, so I am not sure how quickly the process will go from there.

    For those candidates that had questions about their written exam scores. The email you will receive prior to taking the written exam, clearly states the following:

    “Due to the increased volume of candidates currently in the selection process, we will only process candidates who have received a score of 80 or above on the Written Examination. Candidates who receive a score of 75 or below may not be processed prior to their list life expiration date”.

    That means if you scored a 75, you are better off searching for another job. In fact, with such a backlog of 32,000 applicants, I would say that you need to score in the 90s. Good luck to everyone applying. My suggestion is that if anyone is looking for a law enforcement career, they should apply to many departments. Hope to see some of you in the field.

    • JL Thursday, March 3, 2016 / 11:48 pm

      Your last paragraph is probably the best advice one could give. A 75 right now won’t cut it. I believe I was an 85 if memory serves correctly, but I got in right at the start of the hiring craze. I am out at California Institute for Men in Chino, and we’ve had nearly 50 new employees since I got here in December. Prior to that, this place hadn’t seen 50 new hires within the last 3 years combined. April is supposed to be our last group of cadets coming out of the academy, and there’s still overtime to be had.

      So needless to say, look around, don’t just put corrections on your plate and nothing else. Not saying that nobody will make it, just saying that the odds of making it now are exponentially more difficult than they were more than a year ago. Good luck to all, hope to see you all make it, but don’t eat up my overtime! LOL

    • Danielle Thursday, June 30, 2016 / 7:20 am

      Hi my boyfriend had to take all tests again Bcuz it expired he finally gotten an email and he took all the tests and exams passed everything it was I believe February 2016 he’s going for a co. He’s been waiting for a while to get an academy date do you know how much longer is the wait? Should he keep waiting I mean this is his 2nd or 3rd time applying now that he passed all the tests how much longer is wait for academy date?

  8. Stephanie Thursday, February 11, 2016 / 11:40 am

    My husband took the written exam last year (I want to say it was in June 2015) and received a 75. He has Veteran status and passed the physical test as well. He has yet to be assigned a background investigator. He hasn’t received any word that he is not in the running so I’m assuming that’s good. Should he expect to enter the background investigation process soon?

    • Olio Friday, February 12, 2016 / 1:47 pm

      Hey Stephanie,
      After the physical, there’s a medical evaluation, TB test and about 1500 questionnaire with two essay questions. At least that’s what I did here for LAPD. After that, the background investigator is appointed to you. My process took about three weeks and it was cleared. Soon after, another physical. This time it was a STEP test. If that wasn’t enough, a psychological interview is conducted. This is my current standing. I applied back in March 2015, almost a year. I hear the next step is Academy.

  9. JL Sunday, February 7, 2016 / 2:11 am

    Please be patient with the entire process as it has become very lengthy as of late. I started my assignment here at Chino approximately 8 weeks ago. I submitted my application early February, 2014. It took 19 months to go from the submission to the first day at the academy. And this was without any sort of postponement or backlogs of 32k people. So I can imagine the wait time is getting much worse by now. Just make sure you have a current job that will get you by for atleast a year possibly up to two years and don’t stress on waiting for an email. BTW, you will not receive a phone call or a letter in the mail unless you have been disqualified for something. Otherwise, if you’re passing, you will get an email for the next step in the process. Hope this helps.

    • Olio Monday, February 8, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      @ JL

      What happens before the academy? Does being in the academy mean you’re hired? is academy paid? My application submission was in March 2015. Since then I’ve done;

      PAT Test
      Interview with two Officers
      Background Investigation
      PAT STEP Test
      and finally, Psychological Evaluation

      are there any more steps?


    • Carol Tuesday, February 9, 2016 / 4:50 pm

      @OLIO It DOESN’T mean you’re hired. You have to pass the academy in order to be hired. Passing all the tests and interviews only means that YOU PASSED. If and only if you pass the academy, is when you are hired. I know someone who quit the first day because of the video they show you. My family works in the prison, and I have applied back in September, so I’m just waiting for my test date.

    • JL Friday, February 26, 2016 / 1:49 am

      Olio, it appears that you may have a slightly different path than the one I had. I did not have any sort of interview process with multiple officers. The only interview process I went through was the pre-investigative interview with my background officer. At the time, I did not know that I was actually being interviewed, more so just answering questions based on my past history and some small talk here and there. If I remember correctly, my breakdown was as follows:

      submitted application
      written test
      physical fitness test
      background investigation/interview
      written psych
      oral psych
      medical physical/gas mask fit test
      accepted job offer
      academy start
      job start.

      From the time I submitted my application to the time I stepped foot on academy grounds was just over 19 months. Patience goes a long ways. Hope this helps.

    • JL Friday, February 26, 2016 / 1:54 am

      I did forget to mention that yes, technically the state sees you as a temporary full time employee when you are at the academy. Stock pile some cash flow because you’re going to spend roughtly 800-1000 dollars on all your equipment and whatnot just to get into the academy. There is a pdf form on the internet somewhere that states your monthly pay while at the academy, I believe it was somewhere around 18.30 an hour. Stockpile some more money, because you’ll likely show up to the academy half way through the month. This means you have to go an entire extra month just to see your first paycheck, and it will only be for that half of a month you first worked. My gas tank was on fumes by the time I received my first full month’s pay from the academy.

  10. Olio Wednesday, February 3, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    Just took the Psych. Eval last friday, Dr. said it would take no longer than a week and a half to get response in the mail. Waiting for Academy in April. Process took couple of months, perhaps five or six here in Los Angeles.

    • Ben Friday, February 5, 2016 / 10:22 am

      nah, ganna be alot longer then that. You’ll see…..

  11. Leefong Yang Tuesday, February 2, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    Where do I apply online? I do not see the apply button.

    • Ben A Wednesday, February 3, 2016 / 9:01 am

      Not looking good for you bro. If you can read, it clearly states, “Faced with a backlog of 32,000 applications in a recruitment campaign that began two and one-half years ago, CDCR is extending the hold on new applications until April 1, 2016.”

  12. Albert Portillo Tuesday, February 2, 2016 / 11:33 am

    Hello I applied to become a Correctional Officer and finished the entire process and was cleared August 14 2015. I have been waiting ever since for a offer for a Academy but I still have not received a offer . Does it usually take this long ? I scored 80 on the test and I chose the expedited route so I’m willing to work any institution. Does anyone know what I should do ? Or just continue waiting ..

    Thank you

    • Jacob Argueta Thursday, February 4, 2016 / 7:47 pm

      Albert, the same for myself. I received an offer today. Good luck.

    • A Thursday, February 4, 2016 / 8:53 pm

      Keep waiting I was cleared in August as well and I just got an email from them with an assignment just be patient best of luck

    • Carol Tuesday, February 9, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      Yes, it does. My friend applied back in 2013, passed all the test and evals, and is still waiting for an academy date.

  13. Lopez,O Monday, February 1, 2016 / 4:07 am

    I applied in July of 2015 and was emailed a letter saying my application was accepted. Then received another email October 2015 stating that it is currently processing a much higher volume of candidates and OPOS was going to keep me imformed regarding when I can expect to be scheduled to take the Written Examination.While you are waiting to take the Written Examination, and there are several steps listed below that you can take to ensure that you are prepared to complete the selection process: It’s been more them 3 months since the last email… What should I do?

    • Carol Tuesday, February 9, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      Same with me. Still waiting for my test date.

  14. Michael vaughan Wednesday, January 27, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    I took my oral psych test on December 1 and it is now January 28 so about two months, can anyone help me out why it’s taking so long or do I just have to continue waiting for something in the mail?

    • r. Monday, February 1, 2016 / 2:06 pm

      it took two months or so for me to finally get a response. It takes a while, hang in there. you’re almost done. Best of luck!

  15. Tyree Butler Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    I passed my written examination in July 2015 and I passed my physical examination in August 2015 and submitted my application packet in September 2015. In October 2105 I received a Background Investigation update e-mail from CDCR. It indicated that I received a Background Investigator 1UAS which means I have not yet been assigned an Investigator. I am unclear if I am still a Corrections Officer Candidate or not. Will I receive an e-mail or letter from CDCR if I am no longer in the selection process?

    • Angel Monsivajz Thursday, January 28, 2016 / 9:08 pm

      I have the exact same dates. Just recently reference letters were sent out with a SGTs name on them. I contacted that SGT to see how the process is and if I can get contact information so if anything changes and I was told that reference letters being sent out does not mean I have been assigned to anyone as of yet. To continue to wait until I am contacted by an investigator personally. Wish you the best of luck.

  16. George Lofthouse Saturday, January 23, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Is there a job and person specification available anywhere?

  17. Erica Friday, January 22, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    If I recently filed for bankruptcy , will it disqualify me

    • A. Monday, January 25, 2016 / 1:01 am


  18. joe Monday, January 18, 2016 / 3:51 pm

    is the written exam score the same 70 or higher to pass

    • r. Tuesday, January 19, 2016 / 4:56 pm


  19. Trinidad Saturday, January 16, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    I’ve applied for corrections and received an email that my application has been accepted Nov. 18 2015
    Two days ago received another email of update process. I’m a little confused if I should continue waiting for a date, time, location for my exam. Or if I have to call set an appointment? Can someone guide me to what I should do, thank you. I really don’t want to miss this opportunity.

    • a Wednesday, January 20, 2016 / 10:30 am

      Hello Trinidad, continue to look out for a date and time and location via email or give them a call they are very helpful, they might just be backed up, and yes your right don’t miss the opportunity.

  20. Russell Friday, January 15, 2016 / 2:48 am

    Just to be sure there will still be academy class going on during this hold process till April? I finished my psychological screen evaluation December 14th and was wondering if it is possible to get in a academy before April?

    • anomanom Monday, January 25, 2016 / 11:44 am

      That is why there is a hold, they are trying to catch up on applications and get the people who have already applied and qualify to the academy. Now if you’ll get in before April all depends on how many people are in front of you pending academy dates.

  21. Starleen Monday, January 4, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    I took the test last year, however I did not complete the test in time resulting in not passing. I want to take again this year. Any strategies I can use to complete in a quick time with passing score?

  22. Elizabeth A Friday, January 1, 2016 / 10:45 am

    What if I had already applied last year and went through the whole process however got disqualified for a warrant that i took care of the very same day I left Fresno after my interview. I recieved a notice a letter in the mail saying I had to wait til January 2016 to reapply. Do I still have to wait til April now?

    • anomanom Monday, January 25, 2016 / 11:42 am

      yes, because applications are not open until april.

  23. Eriselda Thursday, December 31, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    Just got the news you need to score 80% in order to proceed if you score 75% below does that mean you will wait 24 months to re apply?

  24. Yessica Niebla Tuesday, December 29, 2015 / 9:54 pm

    Can I apply once I turn 20 ? or do I have to be 21

    • Q. Lan Thursday, December 31, 2015 / 5:34 pm

      I believe it is 20 and a half years old to apply, 21 to accept a job.

    • Brock Sunday, January 3, 2016 / 10:31 am

      It’s quite possible that the department may just extend the hold on applications indefinitely. They almost met their goal on the number of officers that have been hired or that are presently in an academy now. My facility is over staffed right now. There are institutional radio announcements daily asking if any officers want to take a holiday credit and go home for the day. The overtime is basically gone!

    • Randy B. Wednesday, January 6, 2016 / 12:21 pm

      As long as you’re 21 by the time you graduate and appointed. You have to be 21 to be a peace officer in the state of California.

  25. Mike C Tuesday, December 29, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    The article has all the information you need. It’s takes 30,000 plus applications to get just 1,200 candidates qualified to go through. Give it time and keep checking back. As soon as you see them taking applications again, get yours in. And be aware it can take anywhere from a year and a half or longer to get through everything and get an academy date. The’res a ton of testing and meeting face to face with people to make sure you’re the right fit for the department. After you go through backgrounds, medical, Psychological Evaluation. You also have to go through the academy too. Check out what it takes and make sure you have everything in line. You want to make sure the process goes smoothly as possible.

  26. mcgraw, matt Monday, December 28, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    I want to work as a corrections officer for CDCR
    Can I pay my own way through the academy so I can be certified and work for the state prison? ?

    Matthew Mcgraw

    • cdel Monday, December 28, 2015 / 12:43 pm

      you have to go through a series of exams and interviews before even being considered for the academy. Once you are offered an academy date you will also receive the institution you will be working for. You will be provided housing, food, and pay while attending the academy.

    • Mario Tuesday, December 29, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      I saw a CC1 Position In DVI,for a period of 12months. The deadline is 12/31/2015. Is this Position Open For all Applicants? I Know you Offer transfer within deparment. Just Wondering.

  27. Joe Thursday, December 17, 2015 / 11:28 pm

    Geez people. Many answers to your questions are right there in the article.

  28. Desiree Morales Wednesday, December 16, 2015 / 12:53 pm

    I would like to also take the exam for Correctional Officer and also apply to the academy, please and thank you

    • John Wednesday, December 16, 2015 / 3:53 pm

      If you actually read the article it says that you can NOT apply until April

  29. kevin saeteurn Wednesday, December 16, 2015 / 10:09 am

    I would like to take the Pear officer or correctional officer exam.

  30. Shay Mouser Wednesday, December 16, 2015 / 1:10 am

    I would like to apply to take the test?

  31. leandra ruiz Tuesday, December 15, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    How do I apply to become in the academy.

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