Becoming a Prison Officer - Establishment locations

These are some of the tasks you will be expected to carry out as a Prison Officer:

  • To carry out security duties as required, contributing effectively to the safe and secure custody of Prisoners.
  • Ensure that all incidents are reported and dealt with  effectively, including bullying, assaults, substance misuse and self harm.
  • Prepare reports as required in a timely manner.
  • Follow set procedures for dealing with Prisoner applications.
  • Encourage Prisoners to deal with personal challenges through offending behaviour programmes.
  • Complete searching in adherence to local and national policy Encourage Prisoners to follow regime activities.
  • Comply with audit requirements.
  • Upholding respect for Prisoners, their property, rights and dignity. 
  • Apply authorised control and restraint procedures where appropriate. 
  • Ensure Control and Restraint training (C & R) is completed each year as required.
  • Complete observation book entries.
  • Monitor vulnerable Prisoners appropriately.
  • Act as Personal Officer to a group of Prisoners.
  • Ensure standards of hygiene and cleanliness are maintained.
  • Ensure Suicide and Self Harm processes are complied with.
  • Ensure information system for Prisoners is effective.
  • Contribute to own development through the Staff Performance & Development Record.
  • Ensure all work is carried out to a high professional standard.

Prison Officer Attendance

As a prison officer you will be expected to work a variety of shifts, including nights, weekends and some long days. Normal weekly working hours average 37 hours over the shift cycle, net of meal breaks. New Prison Officers will have the opportunity to work up to four additional hours on an ongoing basis at an enhanced rate of pay. Below is an example of a typical shift pattern based on a working week of 39 hours for a Prison Officer – this is only a guide and will vary between prisons.

Related documents

Example Prison Officer shift patterns

HM Prison Service


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