Working as a prison officer isn’t your typical security job. It takes a certain kind of person to make an exceptional prison officer, and contribute to the effective rehabilitation of inmates. Regardless what security category of prison you’re located at, you’re always going to be working with people.
It’s the responsibility of prison officers to ensure the safety of co-workers and inmates, which requires a balance of authority, with a friendly approach.
In a prison atmosphere there’s going to be a variety of inmates, imprisoned for different crimes. You’ll have some people locked up for non-payment of fines, while others could be sent down for heinous crimes in the community.
The court’s is where judgement is made and the appropriate sentence handed down to the prisoner. Once people are behind bars, there’s a professional code of conduct needs to be upheld. It’s the duty of the prison officer to ensure all inmates receive a high standard of care and support, throughout their sentence.
Custodial sentences aren’t meant just to get dangerous criminals off the streets. It’s reflection time, and time for changes to be made, when people realize the errors of their ways. During a prisoner’s time inside, there will be discussions taking place with probationary officers, social services, medical staff, who will all work with the inmates, to guide them onto a cleaner path, free from crime, to prevent any further criminal behaviour. When you’re on duty, it will help you to be able to speak with people and find out how they’re progressing with their rehabilitation work and provide some support from time to time.
It’s not always the inmates you have to be weary of in the prison service. Look at any media coverage the prison service has had and you’ll see a common problem. Contraband The misuse of drugs behind bars is rife, and as part of your role as a prison officer, will be to prevent drugs from getting onto the prison premises.
People will adapt to prison life different and a major responsibility a prison officer has, is monitoring the welfare of inmates. Some will be vulnerable and require a higher level of monitoring, if they’re deemed at risk of self-harm or suicide. You’ll also need to be on the lookout for sudden behavioural changes, that could indicate someone is at risk of self-harm, and refer them for medical assistance.
During the time spent in prison, there are constant reviews done on each inmate. These are needed for when prisoners are released back into the community. The reviews will be used by specialists, such as drug counselling services, or social services. Other professional bodies need to know about people’s behaviour, in order to get an understanding of the support they will need, upon release. The better you can monitor and deal with prisoners will assist you to better communicate with other specialists, involved with rehabilitation work.
Working in the prison services is not only about providing a level of security, appropriate the prison you’re located at. It’s about providing a level of care and assisting with the rehabilitation work, which can significantly help reduce repeat crime rates.