Prison Officer

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.


On the job training is usually provided, relevant qualifications would be advantageous though not essential.


At least two years experience working closely with offenders and as part of a large team.


Strong written and verbal communication skills, people skills, team work skills, leadership skills, problem solving skills, strong listening skills.