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Work With Offenders - The Choices
The role of a prison officer is to promote a safe environment for all felons in a HM prison and to ensure that it functions in a fair and accurate way according to the law and in-house rules and regulations. In essence, they play a vital role in helping to ensure the safety of the public and enhancing its overall confidence in the Criminal Justice System.
Officers perform a wide range of functions, from escorting prisoners to and from their cells, to performing regular security checks. They are also expected to deal with violent or disorderly behaviour; perform first aid on prisoners or staff; write reports on individuals and present them to senior prison officials; develop a relationship with the prisoners and nurture an understanding of their traits as individuals; deal with day-to-day issues such as accidents, fires and deaths; and prosecute offenders in front of an independent body if they fail to comply with the prison's regulation system.
A successful candidate would reflect strong written and verbal communication skills and would be able to deal with individuals with behavioural difficulties or psychological problems in a divisive and diplomatic way. Evidence of work of this nature is essential. A degree is not essential, but a related certificate in a course such as social policy, law, psychology or criminology would show an enthusiasm for the field.
Qualifications: On the job training is usually provided, relevant qualifications would be advantageous though not essential.
Experience: At least two years experience working closely with offenders and as part of a large team.
Skills: Strong written and verbal communication skills, people skills, team work skills, leadership skills, problem solving skills, strong listening skills.