Looking for a career path where no day is ever the same? Criminal justice jobs are among the most rewarding and challenging in the world. It can’t be denied that working in a prison can be emotionally and physically demanding, but this type of work also enables you to make positive changes to people’s lives. There are lots of different types of criminal justice jobs, with roles and responsibilities pertaining to an array of areas including law enforcement, social work and psychology. Today we’re going to focus on the finer elements of the prison officer profession. Keep reading if you want to find out the truth about working in a prison!

What does a prison officer do?

Prison officers are responsible for the security, training and rehabilitation of people sentenced to confinement by the courts. They supervise inmates at prisons, remand centres and young offender’s institutions across the country. Guards ensure the prison environment is safe and healthy for all inmates, motivating them to make the right steps to rehabilitation.

What kind of duties does a prison officer have?

Day to day activities for prison officers include keeping inmates secure, assessing their behaviour, carrying out security checks, writing reports and maintaining order. As well as these everyday responsibilities, working in a prison brings the opportunity to provide tangible support to some of society’s most vulnerable people. Promoting anti-bullying and preparing inmates for release are among the most rewarding aspects of the job.

What skills do you need to work in a prison?

If you are patient and able to create good working relationships with people from all walks of life, you might be an ideal candidate for prison work. Working as a prison officer requires a firm but fair approach, as well as the ability to think on your feet. Criminal justice jobs are best suited to those who are able to stay calm under pressure. It is also vital that you are comfortable working in a position of authority, as some inmates can be violent and abusive, requiring outcome-focused discipline.

How do I become a prison officer?

There is a rigorous set of entry requirements to join the public prison service. Before starting work in any institution, criminal justice jobs require all candidates to pass a selection of tests and assessments specially designed to examine your background, communication style, character and fitness level. Once you have qualified for prison work, you will be required to undertake a full programme of training and development.

Are there opportunities for progression?

Higher grade prison officers are tasked with extra responsibilities, including supervising other guards and more specialist aspects of the job. They might be responsible for taking care of a particular wing of the prison or recruiting and training people new to the criminal justice sector.

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