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working in a prison - whats it really like ?

(15 Posts)
HormonalHousewife Wed 09-Jan-13 09:56:47

After 8 years I am thinking of going back to work and have got an interview for a role I know I could do.

But I'm starting to have a wobble now - a combination of nerves I guess but also the impact working in a prison seems a bit unnerving.

Does anyone have any experience they would be happy to give ?

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 09-Jan-13 20:28:26

Hello, I work in a prison, what sort of role is it?

LemonBreeland Wed 09-Jan-13 20:33:27

I haven't worked in a prison but went for a visit and show round to one recently.

Obviously it is going to depend on whether the role involves dealing with prisoners at all.

FWIW I would love to work in a prison since the visit.

HormonalHousewife Wed 09-Jan-13 20:53:55

In the pharmacy, so I'm guessing there will be minimal prisoner contact.

I guess this is soo different from my work in a pharmaceutical factory - but yet I'm still kind of interested.

I guess I'm a bit freaked by the impact if any it might have on my life. I drive a fancy car, with a private plate so I feel kind of conspicuous parking in the 'rough side of town'

I know, I know I'm jumping the gun here a bit... lets get the interview over with first !

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 09-Jan-13 20:58:10

If it has it's own pharmacy sounds like a large prison. We have healthcare but we order all our meds in and they get delivered, we don't have a pharmacy, so diffilcult to ask, but you probably will have to go through the prison to get to it, there will be keys and it can feel claustrophobic. Also what category is it?

HormonalHousewife Wed 09-Jan-13 21:00:57

"Category B and Category C prisoners. The prison also has a small population of retained Category Ds.
There are no set allocation criteria.
The prison does not have a lifer unit.'

Actually I do not know what that means (apart from the last bit ) confused

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 09-Jan-13 21:04:24

I will PM you

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 09-Jan-13 21:09:38

If you want to pm me I may be able to help

LemonBreeland Wed 09-Jan-13 21:18:43

The main thing about prisons, told to me by a colleague who has worked in prisons all his life, is that the doors locking behind you can be a bit strange, but other thsn that just think of it as a village. It really does have everything.

MrsHowardRoark Wed 09-Jan-13 21:28:46

I loved my job in a prison and I would happily go back.

I was told however that 25% of new staff left before their probation ended but it sounds like your role wouldn't be too 'intense'.

Does the prison have it's own secure parking, only available to staff? Ours did as the prisoners quite often nicked a car on release!

Good luck with the interview.

HormonalHousewife Wed 09-Jan-13 21:38:35

a village... thats one way of describing it !

<although significantly different from the village I currently live in grin>

Thats interesting Mrs R, I've heard that before. I noticed when I phoned this morning to confirm the person answering said 'joe bloggs...recruiting' I thought that was quite telling.

I think I need to look into the travel arrangements further.

Thanks for all the advice guys. Much appreciated.

Charliewasagoodhamster Wed 09-Jan-13 23:30:18

Hi Hormonal,

I have worked in prisons for years. Is there anything in particular you want to know? Feel free to send me a message if you do.

It is a bit of an overwhelming thought being inside a prison but I find for most people that lasts a few hours. You have keys and can leave. That thought helps calm nerves.

Prisons are risky places but so much security work is done constantly, risk assessments and good staffing that risks are managed. I always felt safe.

As for working with prisoners, you need professionalism and strong boundaries. They will keep you safe.

You asked what it is like. In my experience it is challenging, honest, tough, rewarding, exciting, changing, engaging, emotional and hard work. But I enjoyed every day. No day was ever the same. I learnt something new daily and met countless interesting people. I don't work in a prison now but would certainly go back.

I'd be happy to help more if you want to say anymore about the role you'd be doing either here or on a personal message.

Charliewasagoodhamster Wed 09-Jan-13 23:34:26

Sorry, started that post a while ago and just got round to finishing it. So pharmacy work would be minimal contact directly with prisoners but you would be around them.

The car plate and other details of your life would be safe ask as you keep the details safe. Staff car parking is away from visitor car parking.

Charliewasagoodhamster Wed 09-Jan-13 23:39:17

Just thinking about my description of what it is like, exciting was the wrong word to use. That makes it sound a bit trivial and wrong. It is the unexpected I meant to describe, thinking on your feet kind of work that I like.

Solo Fri 18-Jan-13 12:34:38

Not all staff car parks are away from visitors. Ours doesn't have visitors parking, but visitors do walk past our vehicles.

I'm going back after 6 years off and my colleague has told me that if I can find another job and not come back to do so as it is just so bad now. I'm dreading it. Used to be a great job, but things change. Morale is said to be non existent now.

I would think that working in the pharmacy is probably ok, but imagine it could have it's own problems due to the very nature of the job plus the people at the end of the medicines.

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