The purpose of the Department of Corrections Observer Program is to provide individuals desiring to learn about the corrections profession the opportunity to do so through first hand observation by working along with a certified corrections officer at a correctional facility.
Observer Eligibility Requirements
Any person over 16 years of age meeting any of the following requirements may participate in the Observer Program:
- Law enforcement/criminal justice personnel from other agencies;
- Sheriff's Office personnel or other City of Jacksonville employees who can demonstrate that the experience gained from a work-along as an observer would benefit them or their agency;
- Persons who are applying for a law enforcement/ criminal justice position with the Sheriff's Office; and/or
- Those individuals who have a sincere desire to gain more knowledge about the corrections profession. Individuals wishing to participate in the Observer Program will be instructed to complete an Observer Program Application form (P- 287). Completed Observer Program Application forms will be mailed or hand carried to:
Pre-Trial Detention Facility
Corrections Sergeant Nicholas Bliss
Field Training Coordinator, OPC
500 East Adams Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202-2813
(904) 630-7181 or email
Corrections Officer Elwin Fuller
Field Training Officer
500 East Adams Street,
Jacksonville, FL 32202-2813
(904) 630-5436 or email
Corrections Sergeant Maurena Dukes
Montgomery Correctional Center
Field Training Sergeant
4727 Lannie Road
Jacksonville, FL 32218
(904) 766-5084 or email
Once the completed Observer Program Application form is received the OPC will:
- Personally interview each applicant's suitability for this program and determine from applicant the facility and watch the applicant desires for his/her work-along;
- Ensure the applicant has completed the application form and signed the Observer Program Rules section on the back of the application form;
- Answer any questions the applicant may have about the rules or the program;
- Ensure the applicant is fingerprinted and photographed; and
- Ensure a criminal history check of the applicant is conducted.
NOTE: JSO employees are exempt from the above requirements for fingerprints, photograph, and criminal history checks
The Observer Program Application form must be submitted at least five working days before the date desired as the work-along. Only the assistant division chief or higher authority may waive the five working day requirement.
Observers must agree to abide by all program rules listed on the Observer Program Application form.
On the day of the scheduled work-along, the watch lieutenant or his/her designee will greet the observer at public reception, 15 minutes prior to roll call. At this time, the watch lieutenant or his/her designee will:
- Ensure that the observer signs in and receives an 'Observer Pass' from the public reception officer; and
- Escort the observer to the muster room to be introduced to shift personnel and to the volunteer corrections officer supervising him/her for the work-along.
General Guidelines for the Observer Program
- The Observer Program Application form is valid for thirty (30) days from the date of application.
- Once approved, an observer may be permitted to schedule one (1) work-long within any two week period that the request is valid. Any deviations from this schedule must be authorized by the assistant division chief or higher authority.
- Observers must be escorted by the supervising corrections officer at all times while in the secure area of the facility.
- The work-along may be terminated at any time by the observer or corrections personnel when it serves the best interest of the observer or the Sheriff's Office or in the event the observer fails to follow Observer Program Rules & Information.
- Any time a work-along is terminated early, the on-duty watch lieutenant will be notified by the corrections officer supervising the observer.