Certified Jail Officer

cjoLogoThe Certified Jail Officer (CJO) Program was developed to assist jail officers in preparing themselves for advancement in the profession of jail management. The CJO Program provides jail officers with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as their commitment to the corrections profession on a national level. Jail officers who become CJOs embark on building a national professional portfolio of their career. All CJOs will be listed on AJA's website and periodically printed in AJA publications.


1. Who is eligible to apply to become a Certified Jail Officer?

Anyone who has been employed full time, for a minimum of one (1) year, as a jail officer. Candidates are required to agree to, and adhere to the American Jail Association Code of Ethics.

2. Who qualifies as a Jail Officer?

A person (sworn or civilian) who supervises incarcerated individuals in jails or detention centers; and/or a person (sworn or civilian) who is in charge of those who supervise incarcerated individuals in jails or detention centers.

3. How can I obtain the necessary CJO application forms?

Download the CJO Handbook & Application.

4. How much will the Certification process cost?

$140 - $195 for AJA members.
$199 - $245 for non-members.
$100 for all Leadership Academy Graduates.

5. How do I take the exam?

The CJO certification is online. First, download the AJA Certification Registration and Examination Instructions​. Then go to aja.certifior.com to upload your application and start the exam process.

Do not send any CJO applications to the American Jail Association. The entire application and testing process is now done online.

Click here to see the current professionals recognized as Certified Jail Officers.

CJO Resource List

Although general knowledge of the experienced jail officer and familiarity with current practices are what is required to pass the certification examination, the following list of resources might be of some assistance in preparing for the examination. It is recommended that candidates review the certification examination content outline listed in the CJO Handbook for Candidates. If there are areas where you wish to increase your knowledge, the following list of resources may be helpful. It should be noted that the list of resources is neither all-inclusive nor exhaustive.