Conducting Population Counts


Correctional facilities are responsible for maintaining custody of inmates and accounting for their whereabouts at all times. Therefore, one of the basic but critical duties of a correctional officer is to conduct various types of counts to account for all inmates, both inside and outside the facility. This course is designed for correctional officers and staff working in jails and prisons. It stresses the need for absolute accuracy in security counts. It discusses the types of security counts in a facility and how inmates try to affect the count process in a negative way. The course also examines the systems designed to help staff maintain accountability of inmates.

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Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-CPC
Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 11/30/2023
Learning Objectives:
Describe 5 types of counts.
Identify 3 ways that inmates try to prevent their absence from being detected during a count.
Describe 3 strategies you can use to ensure the integrity of the count.
Discuss at least 3 types of security support systems designed to help staff maintain accountability of inmates during counts.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Inmate Accountability A. Meet Officers Nelson and Tatt B. Conducting Counts C. The Importance of Accuracy D. Types of Counts E. Timing of Counts F. Review G. Section Summary Section 3: Conducting Counts A. Inmate Deception B. Ways Inmates Avoid Their Absence from Detection C. Counting Inmates D. Ensuring the Integrity of the Count E. Reporting the Count F. Count Records G. Counts That Do Not Match H. Review I. Section Summary Section 4: Security Support Systems A. Controlled Movement B. Changes in Controlled Movement C. Pass System D. Picture-Card System E. Gate Passes F. Work-Crew Card System G. Lockdowns H. Review I. Summary Section 5: Conclusion A. Course Summary B. Course Contributor C. References D. Congratulations! E. Exam F. Brain Sparks

Expert Reviewer: Joe Martin
Joe Martin is a career employee for the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Joe started his career as an officer in 1998. Joe was promoted to Sergeant in 2002 and to Lieutenant in 2005. Joe worked and supervised most security positions within a male and female facility while in security that include: Internal Affairs supervisor, Special Management Unit Supervisor, Shift Supervisor, Visitation Supervisor, Adjustment Committee, and Grievance Chairman. In 2012 Joe was again promoted to the Accreditation Manager. In 2013 Joe was promoted to Central Office and started in the PREA Executive department. In 2014 Joe gained his DOJ PREA auditor certification where he served as chair for many PREA Audits in Missouri and Kansas while the KY DOC was part of a consortium with several other states. During his career, he has also served as the Hostage Negotiation Team Leader and active member of the team. Joe’s accomplishments include Commissioner’s and Achievement awards for the department.  Disclosure: Joe Martin has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Tracy Mullins, M.Ed.
Tracy G. Mullins is the Curriculum Designer for Public Safety at Relias. Tracy has a B.S. in the Administration of Criminal Justice and a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology. Prior to joining Relias Learning in 2017, Tracy worked in various capacities for the American Probation and Parole Association for 22 years. As a Research Associate and Sr. Research Associate, she worked on a variety of federally funded projects focusing on leadership, juvenile justice, victim services, tribal justice, and offender issues. Her responsibilities on these projects include researching justice issues, writing curricula and other publications, and delivering training and technical assistance. From 2010-2016, as Deputy Director of APPA, Tracy managed its grant division, as well oversaw its e-learning initiatives, which included writing and developing online training courses. Disclosure: Tracy Mullins, M.Ed. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry level Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections, Juvenile Corrections.
Relias Learning will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Relias Learning has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias Learning will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias Learning at
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous Distance Learning with interactivity which includes quizzes with questions/answers, and posttests.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Learning Customer Support by calling (800) 381-2321 or emailing