Ransom, but why do people becom prison officers?

(36 Posts)
Samcro Fri 14-Jan-22 21:33:29

Always wondered why? Don't know anyone who does it in rl to ask.

OP’s posts: |
IbizaToTheNorfolkBroads Fri 14-Jan-22 21:36:19

My step father was one for about 10 years.

- because it required no significant qualifications
- because he did nights, so hr had every other week off
- because it paid alright

Lockheart Fri 14-Jan-22 21:39:04

Because they need a job and they're willing to do that particular one I should imagine.

Haggisfish3 Fri 14-Jan-22 21:39:12

Job for life, good prospects, salary.

cherryonthecakes Fri 14-Jan-22 21:39:56

Maybe they live close to a prison so short commute ?

Barrawarra Fri 14-Jan-22 21:41:28

I used to visit a prison with my job when I was a young woman and the guards were all lecherous and intimidating pricks. I’m sure not all prison guards are like that but I’d imagine these guys loved having power over others.

Jijithecat Fri 14-Jan-22 21:42:37

I don't think it's the salary. It's woefully low, particularly when you take the risks and shift work in to consideration.


LegallyBlende Fri 14-Jan-22 21:46:22

I know a few. Never asked them but can see the benefits:
Overtime available
Know your rota well in advance
Can retire after 30 years service (Ireland)
Opportunities for progression
Not too hard of work physically
Doesn't require a 4 year degree like some jobs

Lovemusic33 Fri 14-Jan-22 21:46:43

Some people like the risk factor and the authority.

I went for a job interview at a prison when I was 19 and it scared the sh&t out of me, I didn’t get the job (probably due to me looking scared whilst being wolf whistled at). I would still consider a prison job but not as a prison officer.

Namechangeforthis88 Fri 14-Jan-22 21:49:08

For a career working with complex, vulnerable, damaged and often dangerous people. I worked in prisons for about 17 years. I'm really proud of what I achieved.

Some of my colleagues fit PP's stereotypes, some were just okay, some were amazing, compassionate but realistic.

RomainingCalm Fri 14-Jan-22 21:50:23

I don't think there's a definitive answer but there was a good book about life as a prison officer by Neil Samworth - 'Strangeways: A prison officer's story'. Worth a read if you're interested.

grooveonthemove Fri 14-Jan-22 21:51:16

It's an interesting job? I used to work for the probation service many years ago and loved going into the prisons - it's a whole other world sad

Namechangeforthis88 Fri 14-Jan-22 21:51:21

I also learnt a healthy respect for colleagues with no academic qualifications but life experience and personal qualities.

Amandasummers Fri 14-Jan-22 21:51:58

I’ve no idea but it’s my dream job and I would love to be a prison officer 🤷🏻‍♀️

ANameChangeAgain Fri 14-Jan-22 21:54:43

I know a couple of prison officers. They are the sort of tough guy looking people who you would cross the street to avoid on a dark night. When you actually speak to them though, they are very community focused and genuinely want to make a difference. One was an ex publican, so quite a career change.

PonyPatter44 Fri 14-Jan-22 22:31:03

Pick me, pick me, I know! I work in a prison (actually I've worked in several over the years), and I love it. Many of my friends are prison officers (not guards or warders, please) , as is my DP.

People join the prison service for all sorts of reasons. Some of them are just in it for the money - in many prisons starting salaries are upwards of 27k, I think its 30k in London. Some of them, unfortunately, are bullies and think its a good way to throw their weight around and pick on people who can't fight back. Many of them want a physically active job, where they can keep on the move. Lots of staff are there to make a difference- they want to help people, they are interested in what makes people tick, and frankly, prison is a fascinating environment to work in.

Barrawarra, I'm sorry you had that experience. I assure you that my colleagues are NOT all lecherous intimidating pricks.

ChrissyPlummer Fri 14-Jan-22 22:35:39

I don’t think it’s the salary. I saw one advertised a couple of years ago and it started at £19k. No chance I’d do that job for that money.

My DF knew a couple and they were on old-style contracts; 4 on, 4 off, shift allowance and retired at 50.

Jewel1968 Fri 14-Jan-22 22:35:53

I used to play a team sport and our captain arranged for us to play in a men's prison in London. I have to admit I was a bit unsettled.

Anyway after the game which I think we won we got talking to the equivalent of the PE teacher. He explained he was trying to support the prisoners with their mental health and using sport to do that. He really cared. I have never forgotten that.

LubaLuca Fri 14-Jan-22 22:48:11

I know a couple of prison officers. One of them went into it in his 40s after being made redundant. He's a very gentle man, not very big, but he seemingly uses that to his advantage in the prison - the younger inmates respond well to him. It pays well enough, he can work lots of overtime, and he'll be pensioned off a lot sooner than he could have been in his previous career.

The other one is a young man who wanted a job for life. He enjoys it too, he likes the camaraderie with his colleagues and the challenge.

KineticSand Fri 14-Jan-22 22:52:19

My neighbour is a retired prison officer. She worked in women's prisons and set up schemes to skill up prisoners with work related skills and set them up in jobs when released. She set up schemes with big employers like Greggs and Timpsons cobblers shops. She speaks really proudly of what she did.

mumofEandE Fri 14-Jan-22 22:53:12

I've worked in a women's prison (in education not as a prison officer) and realised v quickly that prisons are full of people who made bad decisions.
I really enjoyed it!

Atmywitsend29 Fri 14-Jan-22 22:57:14

A friend of mine did it for his whole life until medical retirement. He loved it. He was amazing at it. He had such an ability to connect with the prisoners, and it's not the same as it was the prison service try to focus on rehabilitation as opposed to straight punishment. He was also a member of our local Tornado team, so he used to get called in when the local intake (remand) prison had riots etc. He loved it. He loved going in and every day being different.

My DH is awaiting his vetting clearance to start as a prison guard, because it's a worthwhile job, he wants to be making a difference to people's lives and supporting people to better themselves. You won't rehabilitate everyone to the point of being a functional stand up member of outside society, but you might help that murderer doing life learn to live peacefully with his cellmate.

DamnYouAutoCarRental Fri 14-Jan-22 22:58:57

The only one I know, his business went bust after years of stress trying to keep it afloat. Regular salary, pension and recession proof work were the attractions. I think the training and chances of progression are reasonable, the shifts suit some childcare patterns.

SkippettyDoDah Fri 14-Jan-22 23:00:09

I knew someone who wanted to be an officer because her dad was and she thought it looked exciting (power!) and well paid 🤷‍♀️

Gardeningtipsneeded Fri 14-Jan-22 23:03:03

It’s good money for no qualifications. My brother went into it as he had 1 GCSE and a local prison opened up. He could earn 40k, far more than he’d get doing anything else.
He left after 15 years, spice was a real issue and he got it thrown/blown at him one too many times. He’s struggled on the outside to find anything near the salary but he’s now a shift supervisor at a delivery company.

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