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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 354E
Category: Social Services


Under general supervision in an adult corrections institution, facility, or unit 

1.  Provides counseling, treatment and custody to a caseload of offenders;


2.  Performs pre-parole counseling, resident program planning and other counseling services.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is an entry-level class. Counseling duties and/or caseloads may be pre-screened as incumbents in these positions typically perform the less difficult assignments. Some positions may work independently in field locations without availability of immediate supervisory assistance. Emphasis for this level is to expand and develop counseling and treatment skills.

Typical Work

Applies case management techniques in offender interactions; provides one-on-one counseling, addressing offender behaviors related to case management plan; facilitates offender workshops and classes that address work ethics, cognitive behavior, and relapse prevention;

Counsels and advises residents to assist them in improving their personal outlook, adjust to basic living problems, and social behavior;

Participates in case staffing to develop and revise case management plans; provides on-the-job instruction; guides and mentors offenders in the development of pro-social attitudes and behavior in a team environment; provides program development and redesign input;

Attends weekly sessions discusses and makes recommendation to committee regarding resident’s progress and program;

Interviews residents to obtain and compile personal data and social background; contacts friends, relatives, teachers, public, and private agencies to secure information on the resident’s background, personal history, and social adaptability;

Attends and participates in or conducts group therapy sessions; screens mail and visiting applications; prepares admission summaries;

Serves legal papers regarding court actions, divorce, separations, consents for adoption and other legal actions;

Directs the general movement of offenders at or away from the institution, facility or unit; maintains order and discipline; reports rule infractions; keeps records of offender movement and activities; observes offenders and reports unusual or significant behavior; makes recommendations in carrying out programs; performs counseling tasks on an assignment or caseload basis;

Assists in detecting the use, possession and/or introduction of controlled substances, alcohol, and all other illegal items and/or contraband; assists in the enforcement of laws regarding the use, possession and/or introduction of such illegal items; searches offenders and quarters for contraband; patrols and inspects assigned areas; maintains control of keys, takes counts of offenders; observes and notes all activity on or off premises; operates communication equipment;

Acts as a liaison with various community maintenance staff on off-site projects; provides clarification of off-site procedures, addressing custody/security issues and negotiation of appropriate task/assignment completion;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: fundamentals, basic concepts and principles of the social sciences with particular reference to individual and group behavior, motivation and social disorganization; concepts of the criminal justice system; community resources; interviewing techniques.

Ability to: gain the confidence and cooperation of socially maladjusted persons; establish a working relationship with the offender and staff; appraise behavior accurately, clearly, and objectively, and adopt a workable course of action; speak and write effectively.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree involving major study in sociology, psychology, social work, criminology, or a closely related field. 


Satisfactory completion of two years of college in sociology, psychology, social work, criminology, or closely related field and two years of experience in adult corrections, juvenile corrections, rehabilitation, or social casework. 

Counseling and/or custody experience in adult or juvenile corrections will substitute year-for year for the required education. 

Note:  Corrections experience means that the focus of the work is dealing directly with offenders a majority of the time.

Class Specification History

New class consolidates (formerly 39120 Correctional Counselor 1; 39620 Classification Counselor 1) Adopted May 11, 2007; Effective July 1 2007.
(07/17/2009) Revised desirable qualifications; added Note section.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.