Corrections management scholarships are becoming easier to find as growing inmates spark an increasing demand for courageous individuals to enter this career path.
In the United States, there are around 2.4 million people currently incarcerated in our jail systems, which is a whopping 500% increase over the past three decades. This means that one in every 108 adults is locked behind bars in a prison or jail cell. Therefore, it's no surprise that there's a strong need for qualified correctional officers to supervise inmates and aid in the rehabilitation of criminal offenders.
For those interested in this unique criminal justice field to maintain security in correctional facilities, the following are 20 of the best scholarships available to receive a degree related to corrections management.
1. Association of Black Correctional Workers Scholarships
Deadline: March 13th
Each year, the Association of Black Correctional Workers (ABCW) proudly presents $500 scholarship awards to graduating high school seniors of color who are planning to enroll full-time in an accredited academic program for corrections or criminal justice. Qualified candidates must carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, be actively involved in volunteer work, demonstrate strong leadership abilities in extra-curricular activities, and be pursuing a career in correctional services. With the application, students should submit one letter of recommendation, a high school transcript, proof of 40 hours of community service, and a 500-word personal statement.
Association of Black Correctional Workers Scholarships
427 North Central Avenue
Upland, CA 91786
Deadline: September 1st
Sponsored by the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association (FPPOA), the Ben S. Meeker Academic Scholarship is awarded yearly for a maximum of $1,000 to provide financial support to academically talented students who manifest a dedication to pursuing a career in the probation, pretrial services, parole, corrections, or criminal justice field. Eligible applicants must have at least junior-level status, maintain full-time enrollment, be related to an active FPPOA member, and exhibit professional maturity. For consideration, students must write a brief narrative essay, submit two recommendations, attach college transcripts, and complete a personal interview.
Ben S. Meeker Academic Scholarship
1000 Southwest Third Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
3. Correctional Education Association Scholarship
Deadline: January 1st
Within the Correctional Education Association (CEA), at least one scholarship is awarded each year for $500 to undergraduate or graduate student members who are currently enrolled in a degree program for corrections management or correctional education with the goal of improving the delivery of educational services to rehabilitate inmates. Funding can be used to cover college tuition costs, conduct research on relevant topics, or attend the CEA conferences. Along with the application, interested individuals should supply a current resume, list of involvement in CEA activities, detailed budget plan, and a compelling narrative discussing their objectives in correctional education services.
4. CPO Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: April 17th
Administered by the Correctional Peace Officers (CPO) Foundation, these scholarships are designed to bestow up to $1,500 each to the children and grandchildren of qualifying active members who have been working in or retired from the corrections management profession for a minimum of 12 months. Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens, be enrolled full-time in an accredited higher learning institution, have declared a major in a criminal justice field, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, have financial need, and plan to enter a career in corrections. Applications won't be complete without official transcripts, proof of post-secondary admission, and an autobiographical sketch.
5. Dennis R. Martin Juvenile Justice Scholarships
Deadline: May 1st
Through the Middle Atlantic States Correctional Association (MASCA), the Dennis R. Martin Juvenile Justice Scholarships are granted for $1,000 in honor of a long-standing board member who dedicated his life to improving the juvenile justice system and consistently advocated for the exchange of ideas for growth. Eligible candidates from Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania must be attending an accredited U.S. college, have a declared emphasis in juvenile or criminal justice, intend to pursue a career in the correctional field, and write a two-page essay on their goals for working with juveniles.
Dennis R. Martin Juvenile Justice Scholarships
102 York Road Suite 202
Willow Grove, PA 19090
6. Dr. J. Lamar Johnson Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: September 1st
As the state's chapter of the ACA, the Ohio Correctional and Court Services Association (OCCSA) has created the Dr. J. Lamar Johnson Memorial Scholarship in memory of a beloved psychologist who devoted his career to providing mental health services to inmates at the Dayton Correctional Institution until he passed in 1996. To qualify for a $500 award, candidates must be enrolled in some form of higher education, have a declared major in criminal justice or another corrections-related field, and be pursuing a correctional career in the public sector. All applicants must submit an application with a recommendation and 250-word personal essay.
7. Fallen Heroes Scholarship Award
Deadline: March 10th
Annually, the South Dakota Corrections Association (SDCA) offers the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Award in the amount of $500 to junior or senior-level undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in an accredited in-state university with a major in corrections management or a closely related program. Eligible applicants must reside within South Dakota, be interested in remaining in the state after graduation, be actively involved in school or community activities, have a high-grade point average, exhibit financial need, and aspire to a career in the corrections or human services field. Recipients will be invited to attend the SDCA Spring Conference in April for recognition.
8. Harjit Sanhu Criminal Justice Scholarship
Deadline: September 20th
Created in honor of a sociology professor at Oklahoma State University who dedicated his research to the criminal justice field, the Harjit Sanhu Criminal Justice Scholarship is awarded through the Oklahoma Correctional Association (OCA) each year for $500 to students majoring in sociology, social work, psychology, criminology, corrections, or a related criminal justice field. Eligible OCA members must be pursuing an associate, bachelor, or master's degree at an accredited university to work in corrections management. Applicants must submit a scholarship form with proof of college enrollment, official transcripts, verification of financial need, and a brief autobiography.
9. Harold Johnson Law Enforcement Scholarship
Deadline: February 25th
Established by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in 2010, the Harold Johnson Law Enforcement Scholarship provides up to $5,000 to students pursuing a career in police work, corrections, or other law enforcement fields. To be one of the seven recipients chosen annually, candidates must demonstrate a passion for public service, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, have U.S. citizenship, and plan to enroll full-time in an accredited two or four-year college. Applicants should also be from the greater San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Napa, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties of California.
10. James Boorman Sr. Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: June 27th
Since 1997, the Wisconsin Correctional Association (WCA) has been awarding the James Boorman Sr. Memorial Scholarship for up to $1,000 yearly to active members of the dependent children of current members who are currently enrolling full-time in a technical certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or graduate degree program for corrections management. Qualified candidates must reside within Wisconsin, take on at least six credits each semester, be U.S. citizens, maintain good academic status, attend an accredited in-state college, and be deeply committed to a future career in correctional service. Finalists will be contacted via telephone for a short personal interview.
11.Kansas Correctional Association Scholarships
Deadline: January 31st
Valued from $500 to $1,000 each year, the Kansas Correctional Association (KCA) proudly presents several scholarships to full-time graduating high school students, college applications, and matriculated undergraduate students who are aiming for a degree in corrections, criminal justice, or a related social science field. Eligible applicants must reside within Kansas, be attending an accredited college within the state, demonstrate financial need, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and show dedication to a career in correctional services. All applications must be accompanied by official transcripts, two recommendations, and a personal essay outlining candidates' goals as corrections officers.
12. Lambda Alpha Epsilon Scholarships
Deadline: December 31st
Within the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA), the Lambda Alpha Epsilon honor society gladly offers several monetary scholarships for varying amounts to lower-division and upper-division undergraduate students as well as graduate students who are pursuing a course of study in any criminal justice discipline, including corrections management. To apply, students should have completed at least two semesters of accredited college coursework, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be actively involved in their university's LAE chapter, have U.S. citizenship, and demonstrate financial need. Applicants must submit five copies of their application with certified school transcripts, proof of enrollment status, recommendations, and a personal statement.
13. Leonard Morgenbesser Educational Scholarship
Deadline: September 17th
In honor of his 20-year membership of the executive board for the New York Corrections and Youth Services Association (NYCAYSA) and his strong advocacy for anti-gun violence to make Albany safer, the Leonard Morgenbesser Education Scholarship is awarded each year for $500. Qualified candidates must reside within New York State, display a sincere interest in the correctional field, be actively involved in community service, exhibit financial need, and be in good academic standing at an in-state accredited university. This scholarship is only awarded to enhance educational studies in law enforcement, corrections management, juvenile justice, criminal justice, community supervision, and related areas.
14. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award
Deadline: June 1st
To commemorate his belief that progress is best achieved through cooperation rather than through conflict, the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award is presented annually by the American Correctional Association (ACA) for $2,000. Eligible minority students must be working towards a post-secondary education at an accredited American institution, be pursuing a career in corrections or criminal justice, maintain full-time enrollment status, have significant financial need, and be earning a bachelor's or master's degree. Along with the application, candidates should submit a short 250-word essay addressing how they attempt to emulate the philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King in their lives.
15. MCAA Memorial College Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 29th
On a yearly basis, the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association (MCAA) delivers the Memorial College Scholarship Program to grant $1,000 to college-bound high school seniors and currently enrolled undergraduate students who are dedicated to earning a four-year degree in corrections management or a similar criminal justice arena. Qualified applicants must reside within Maryland, plan to attend an accredited in-state university, and maintain good academic achievement in corrections-related studies. With seven copies of the application, candidates must attach three letters of recommendation from faculty members, high school guidance counselors, and MCAA-member correctional administrators.
MCAA Memorial College Scholarship Program
100 North Court Street
Westminster, MD 21157
16. Minds Against Crime Grants
For varying amounts, the Minds Against Crime Grants are available to individuals currently working in the community corrections field who demonstrate a significant need for additional funding to pursue education and professional development for improving their delivery of services specifically in the community corrections field. Individuals can apply for a grant to receive financial support to pursue post-secondary education in a correctional-related major, participate in a web-based learning program, or attend the American Probation and Parole Association Leadership Institute. Applicants must submit a four-page narrative that addresses their professional background, a detailed funding request, and at least one letter of support.
17. Ray Hobbs Honorary Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Sponsored by the Arkansas Association of Correctional Employees Trust (AACET), the Ray Hobbs Honorary Scholarship is awarded each year for $2,000 to tenured ADC employees who have at least ten years of full-time work experience in the state's correctional services field. For consideration, employees must be returning to school for a degree related to corrections management, have earned at least junior-level status, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, attend an accredited university in Arkansas, have U.S. citizenship, and exhibit financial need. Applications must include a certified transcript, official letter of college enrollment, narrative essay, and professional letter of candidacy.
18. Susan C. Cranford Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
In honor of her innovative leadership during her nine-year tenure as warden of the largest female prison in Texas and illustrious rise to an appointed position on the Texas Punishment Standards Commission, the Susan C. Cranford Memorial Scholarship is presented each year for $500 through the Texas Corrections Association (TCA). Qualified female applicants must be pursuing a degree in criminal justice or corrections management, be accepted into an accredited two or four-year college, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and possess a proven dedication to a career in corrections.
19. Susan M. Hunter Correctional Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Through the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA), the Susan M. Hunter Correctional Scholarship has been established to award $1,500 annually in honor of the former Chief of the Prisons Division at the National Institute of Corrections who continued to impact corrections nationally after losing her fight with breast cancer in 2004. Qualified candidates must be pursuing a field of study in corrections or criminal justice, attend two or four-year accredited colleges, maintain full-time enrollment status, work at an ASCA-member corrections agency, and carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.3. Online applications must include an official transcript, standardized test scores, two recommendation letters, and a 300-word personal essay.
20. Virginia Correctional Association Scholarships
Deadline: July 31st
Ranging in value from $500 to $1,000 apiece, the Virginia Correctional Association (VCA) offers four scholarships each year to the children and grandchildren of current members who are pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities in criminal justice, corrections management, law enforcement, or a related field. Eligible applicants must reside in Virginia, be graduating from a local area high school, be enrolling full-time or part-time in an accredited in-state college, and maintain good academic standing. Along with the application, candidates must write a one-page typed essay discussing their aspirations and future contributions to correctional service.
Virginia Correctional Association Scholarships
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, VA 23225
Whether you're interested in working for a local, state, or federal prison system, earning a degree in corrections management will be helpful for providing the skills needed to oversee individuals who have been arrested or sentenced. As this is a potentially dangerous field, many correctional agencies now prefer hiring officers who have advanced education and on-the-job training to ensure the highest level of safety. If you're ready to leap into a correctional career of public service, check out these great corrections management scholarships to finance your educational journey there.