Prison Officer

What does a Prison Officer do?

Prison officers have responsibility for the security, supervision, training and rehabilitation of people committed to prison by the courts. The ability to build relationships is key as are the skills to manage risk, make quick decisions, deal effectively with unexpected situations and work as part of a team.

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Recommended courses

BA Criminology
BA Criminology and Sociology
BSc Professional Policing
Law with Criminology

What skills does a Prison Officer need?

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including assertiveness and self-motivation
  • Excellent communication and people skills, as well as the ability to get on with a range of people
  • Personal integrity and resilience
  • Decision making skills, leadership potential and the ability to take responsibility from day one
  • Assertiveness
  • Team working skills and the ability to learn from others
  • Organisational and time management skills
  • The ability to accept criticism
  • Self-confidence, emotional intelligence and the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Physical stamina
  • Patience and the ability to actively listen
  • Knowledge of public safety and security
  • Attention to detail
  • Awareness of how prisons fit within the wider criminal justice system and communities.
  • A flexible approach to work and adaptability to change
  • Knowledge of the legal system including court procedures and government regulations
  • Problem solving skills
  • The ability to form working relationships with people from all walks of life
  • Negotiation skills.

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