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Minimum Qualification RequirementsSalary & BenefitsDisqualifiers/Background StandardsAdministrative Review RequestRecruitment Process – TestingAcademy LifeLife as an ACO Video

1. Minimum Qualification Requirements

  1. Education Requirement
    1. High School Diploma or General Education Diploma (GED)
  2. Experience Requirement
    1. One (1) year of General Experience which shows the ability to relate effectively with people in following the instructions of a supervisor and giving or exchanging information.
  3. License Requirement
    1. A valid driver’s license
  4. Other requirements:
    1. All applicants must meet all federal and State regulations applicable to the carrying, use and possession of firearms and ammunition at the time of appointment.
    2. All Adult Corrections Officer must be qualified for the use of, and access to, firearms at all times through the department’s Training and Staff Development Office, which includes being drug free.
  5. Substitutions
    1. Applicants who have successfully completed two academic years in an accredited college or university above the high school level will be deemed to have met the education and experience requirements for the Adult Corrections Officer Recruit position.


2. Salary & Benefits

  1. Salary
    1. The Adult Corrections Officer Recruit (ACOR) starting salary is $4,655 per month (CO-04)
    2. After successfully completing a nine (9) month probationary period AND actively working for a total of twelve (12) months, the ACOR incumbent is reallocated to an Adult Corrections Officer III (ACO III). The ACO III starting salary is $5,050 per month (CO-06)
  2. Benefits
    1. The State of Hawaii offers its employees who are members of the civil service a range of benefits. Some benefits are offered as a result of collective bargaining agreements and changes may occur. A summary of these benefits, which is based on full-time employment, is listed below.With Civil Service modernization, effective July 1, 2002, employees appointed to temporary positions may also gain membership in the civil service upon satisfactory completion of an initial probation period of at least six months. As a temporary member of the civil service, you will be eligible to apply for promotion and transfer opportunities to permanent as well as other temporary positions. You may also enjoy other rights and benefits afforded to members of the civil service, with the exception of return rights and placement rights associated with a reduction-in-force of a permanent member of the civil service.Paid HolidaysYou may be eligible for 13 paid holidays each year; 14 holidays during an election year.

      Paid Vacation

      You may earn vacation leave at a rate that other employers find tough to match – 21 days each full year from the FIRST year of employment. This compares to an average of 10 days offered by private companies. You may accumulate up to a total of 90 days (720 hours) of vacation.

      Paid Sick Leave

      You may earn sick leave at the same rate as vacation – 21 days per year from the FIRST year, and there is no limit on the amount you can accumulate. Expectant mothers may also use sick leave for pre-natal or post-natal check-ups or any illness related to pregnancy. Plus, unused accumulated sick leave may eventually be used to increase your retirement benefits in certain situations.

      Other Leaves

      Reasonable time off with pay may be provided for jury or witness duty, a death in the family, some military duty, and donation to the Blood Bank. Leave sharing donations may be granted to eligible employees who have serious personal illnesses or injuries or need to care for a seriously ill or injured family member. Various leaves without pay may also be granted with full re-employment rights.

      Health Insurance

      The State pays a part of the premiums for each employee’s enrollment in a State sponsored Medical, Drug, Vision, and Dental Plan. For more information, visit the Employer Union Trust Fund website for coverage and options.

      Group Life Insurance

      The State provides a free life insurance policy for employees.

      Retirement Plan

      The State contributes to a retirement plan for eligible employees. Generally, employees under the Hybrid Plan with 10 years of credited service and who have reached 65 years of age or have 30 years of credited service and have reached 60 years of age may retire and receive benefits. To find out more about the options you have, go to

      Premium Conversion Plan

      Participating employees may increase their take-home pay by having the State deduct the cost of health care premiums before payroll taxes are withheld.

      Flexible Spending Accounts

      Eligible employees can reduce their federal and state income taxes and social security taxes through a tax-savings benefit program called Island Flex. This program allows employees to set aside money from their paychecks to pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses and eligible dependent care expenses on a BEFORE-TAX basis.

      Transportation Benefits

      Participating employees may increase their take-home pay by having the State deduct qualified transportation expenses (i.e. eligible parking fees, monthly bus passes for TheBus, fare coupons for The Handi-Van, Vanpool Hawaii participation fee, etc.) through pre-tax payroll deductions.

      Deferred Compensation

      The State offers employees a voluntary pre-tax retirement savings plan designed to give employees a tax break today and an opportunity to build a retirement nest egg through voluntary payroll deductions. Several types of investment options are available.

      Temporary Disability Insurance

      Qualified employees may be eligible to receive benefits for a disability caused by a non-work related injury or illness under this program.

      Social Security

      As an employer, the State also contributes to an employee’s social security account.

      Promotions & Transfers

      For employees with membership in the civil service, the State offers promotion and transfer opportunities throughout the State Executive Branch.

      Training & Continuing Education

      The State supports developmental activities related to an employee’s work. In many departments there are numerous in-service training opportunities available. Sabbatical leaves with pay are available for qualified employees.

      Travel Expenses

      The State may pay for certain business related travel expenses including mileage reimbursement for use of a personal car during work, airfare, meals and lodging expenses for trips to neighbor islands or out of state.

      Incentive & Service Awards

      The State has a program that recognizes employees for their years of service and provides cash awards for their superior accomplishments and other contributions that improve State operations.
      Rest Periods & and Meal Period
      All employees are allowed a rest period of ten (10) minutes during each half of the workday and a meal period of forty-five (45) minutes during each workday.

      Employees are paid on every 5th and 20th of each month. New employees will receive their first paycheck approximately 45 days after their effective start date.

      The above information is solely intended as a summary of the benefits available to State of Hawaii employees and is subject to change. Whether or not you are entitled to a particular benefit will depend on your specific appointment and employment status (included, excluded, exempt, non-exempt). Please refer to the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or executive order and all applicable laws, rules, policies, or plan documents for further details. Nothing herein shall be deemed as creating an employment contract, promise of employment, promise of continued employment, or obligation of any kind on the part of the State of Hawaii.


3. Disqualifiers/Background Standards

  1. The items listed on this page are meant to be an overview of our automatic and potential disqualifiers. This is not an all-inclusive list of things that could keep an applicant from clearing the background investigation.
  2. Applicants must not have any of the following when entering the background investigation phase:
    1. Respondent on a current Temporary Restraining Order (TRO. Protective Order (PO), Injunction Against Harassment or any other court issued protective orders.
    2. Currently on probation.
    3. Any pending or ongoing criminal cases (listed as suspect).
    4. Outstanding citations or parking fines.
    5. Current stopper on driver’s license.
    6. Active Warrants
  3. The items below will permanently disqualify an Adult Corrections Officer Recruit applicant:
    1. Felony conviction
    2. Conviction(s) of any crime of violence: offenses involving injury or threat of injury to another person such as assault, abuse of family or household member/domestic violence, terroristic threatening, and/or physical harassment.
    3. Conviction(s) of any sale of an illegal drug/controlled substance.
    4. If you have ever committed:
      1. Murder
      2. Promoting child pornography
      3. Sexual assault/rape
      4. Abuse of a family or household member/domestic violence
      5. As an adult, sale or manufacturing of any schedule I, II, III, IV controlled substance, other than Marijuana
    5. Separation from the United States Armed Forces with less than “Honorable” conditions
    6. Any sustained investigation (Internal Affairs, Human Resources, etc.) relating to Civil Rights violations and Equal Employment Opportunity violations (discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, etc.) while working in any capacity.
    7. Any sustained investigation (Internal Affairs, Human Resources, etc.) relating to integrity, excessive use of force, or theft, while serving in a Law Enforcement or Public Safety capacity.
  4. Integrity
    1. Any material misstatement of fact or significant admission during the application or background process shall be disqualifying, which includes, but is not limited to the inconsistent statements made during the Background Investigation, the Computer Voice Stress Analysis Examination, and Post-Offer Psychological Interview Examination.
    2. Any forgery, alteration, or intentional omission of material facts on an official employment application or background document, or sustained episodes of academic cheating.
  5. No-Show/Missing Deadlines
    1. If an applicant misses a deadline to register for or fails to report to a scheduled test/examination without a valid reason, the applicant will be disqualified from the respective recruitment class. If the applicant is still interested in employment with the Department, he/she must reapply for the Adult Corrections Officer Recruit position. Applicants may reapply as soon as they are disqualified.
  6. The information below will more than likely disqualify an applicant; however, these are not only some example of the Department’s selection standards. Applicants who meet the selection standards listed below are not guaranteed employment with the Department of Public Safety and are evaluated in other areas which may deem them not suitable for employment.
    1. Drug Use
      1. Possession/Use of Marijuana or other Schedule V controlled substance within three (3) years
      2. Possession/Use of Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone, Valium, Ambien or any other Schedule II/IV controlled
        substance within three (3) years
      3. Possession/Use of Ecstasy (MDMA, Heroin, LSD, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Adderall or any other Schedule I/II controlled substance (other than Marijuana) within six (6) years
      4. Sale/Manufacturing of Marijuana or other Schedule V controlled substance within three (3) years
    2. Arrests/Convictions
      1. Felony arrest (non-conviction) within three (3) years
      2. Misdemeanor arrest within three (3) years
      3. Petty Misdemeanor arrest within three (3) years
    3. Traffic/Driving History
      1. OVUII/DUI conviction within three (3) years
      2. OVUII/DUI arrest within three (3) years


4. Administrative Review Request

  1. All applicants who are not selected, or are deemed not-suitable, may request an “Administrative Review” within seven (7) days of the non-selection email.NOTE: No rescheduling of any event will be permitted. Failure to report to any scheduled test/examination or meet any deadline will result in immediate disqualification.


5. Recruitment Process – Testing

  1. Applicants must be available all day. Testing may start as early as 7:30 a.m. and end as late as 6:00 p.m.
  2. Neighbor island testing will consist of three tests: Written Test, PAT, and Oral Interview. As applicants successfully complete each test and/or examination, they will advance to the next designated test and/or examination.
  3. Due to the volume of applicants on the island of Oahu, testing will consist of only two tests: Written Test and PAT. Applicants who successfully complete both tests will receive an invitation to an Oral Interview. Oral Interviews are scheduled within a week or two of the First Event.
    1. Phase One:
      1. Written Tests – 1 ½ hours to complete.
        1. The Written Test consists of vocabulary, grammar, English usage, spelling, sentence sequencing, math, chart reading, and reading comprehension. The Written Test may be waived for Applicants who have obtained a two-year degree or geater. To be granted this waiver, Applicants must submit an Official Transcript of their degree(s).
      2. Physical Ability Test – PAT
        1. The PAT is a continuous, timed (1 minute and 50 seconds) obstacle course consisting of the following obstacles:
        2. Sprint 125 yards
        3. Lift and drag a 165-pound dummy a distance of 20 feet
        4. Carry a 25-pound backpack a distance of 85 feet, which includes up and down a flight of stairs (approximately 10 steps)
        5. Push a 138-pound sled a distance of 25 feet
        6. Sprint 25 feet to cross the finish line
      3. Oral Interview
        1. The contents of the Oral Interview are confidential.
    2. Phase Two:
      1. Pre-Offer Psychological Examination

      Applicants must be available for approximately three (3) hours. Testing may start anywhere between 7:30 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.

    3. Phase Three:
      1. Conditional Offer

      Applicants who successfully complete the Written Test, PAT, Oral Interview, and the Pre-Offer Psychological Examination may receive a Conditional Offer. Acceptance of a Conditional Offer is required to proceed with the recruitment process.

    4. Phase Four:
      1. Background Investigation

      Once a Conditional Offer is accepted, applicants are required to complete all background forms within five (5) calendar days. Failure to meet this deadline will result in disqualification from Adult Corrections Officer Recruitment.

    5. Phase Five:
      1. Post Offer Psychological Examination

      Applicants must be available for approximately three (3) hours. Testing may start anywhere between 7:30 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.

    6. Phase Six:
      1. Truth Verification Exam

      Applicants must be available for approximately four (4) hours. Testing may start anywhere between 7:30 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.

    7. Phase Seven:
      1. Psychological Interview

      Applicants must be available for approximately three (3) hours. A Licensed Psychologist will schedule your Psychological Interview via email. Interviews will be held via Zoom.

    8. Phase Eight:
      1. Applicants are required to successfully pass a pre-employment physical examination, tuberculosis (TB) test and a pre-employment drug test which must be paid by the applicant.
        1. Medical/Physical Examination – Paid for by the applicant
          1. Applicants are responsible for researching, finding, and scheduling their own medical/physical examination.
        2. Tuberculosis Test (TB) – Paid for by the applicant
        3. Drug Test – Paid for by the applicant
        4. COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:
          1. As a condition of employment with the State of Hawai’i, all qualified external candidates who have been given a conditional offer of employment must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and shall be fully vaccinated by his/her/their employment start date. A reasonable accommodation will be provided if requested by a candidate and it is determined through an interactive process that pregnancy, a qualifying disability, or a sincerely held religious belief prevents the candidate from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.A final offer of employment is contingent upon passing the background check and verification of the prospective employee’s vaccination status and/or approval of reasonable accommodation.Please note that all external applicants not currently employed by the State of Hawaii as a permanent employee are subject to the COVID-19 vaccination policy and the completion of the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Acknowledgment form.
    9. Phase Nine:
      1. Onboarding
        1. At this phase of the recruitment process, applicants must complete all pertinent employment forms, i.e., eligibility to work in the US, retirement enrollment, tax forms, etc. This phase must be completed prior to starting the Academy.
    10. Phase Ten:
      1. Qualified candidates who have successfully completed and passed EACH test phase, including the Criminal History Check and Comprehensive Background Investigation, will be contacted to attend the next available Basic Corrections Recruit Class (BCRC). The BCRC is part of the initial probationary period and part of the examination process to determine the employee’s fitness and ability for the position. The successful completion of the 10-week BCRC class is a requirement for membership in the civil service.


6. Academy Life

  1. What is the curriculum
    1. Federal, State and County Laws,
    2. Constitutional Law and Civil Rights
    3. Department Policies and Procedures
    4. Ethical Use of Force and De-escalation
    5. Firearms and less Lethal Control Systems
    6. Crisis Intervention Techniques
    7. Weekly Physical Fitness
    8. And many more subject areas
  2. How long is the academy:
    1. The Academy is approximately 11 weeks long. Hours of Instruction will vary but are primarily Monday thru Friday, 0800-1700 excluding Holidays. Night shift hours of instruction are from 1300-2200 as needed.
  3. Is it a live in academy
    1. The PSD Academy services ACO Recruits (ACOR) from all of the major Hawaiian Islands. Oahu ACORs will go home each evening and all neighbor island ACORs will receive accommodations at a local hotel at the department’s expense, which includes a daily meal per diem.
    2. Initial travel to the start of and after graduation from the Academy is provided by the department.
    3. Additional travel to/from the neighbor islands during the Academy is at the expense of the ACOR.
  4. Field Training and Evaluation Program
    1. Upon graduation from the Academy, ACORs will return to their assigned facilities to be paired with a veteran officer to undergo on-the-job training. During this period, ACORs will gain valuable experience in order to successfully complete their probationary period.


Life as an ACO