HM Prison Service Employee Reviews

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Poor experience.
OSG (Former Employee) –  Evesham, Worcestershire17 August 2018
I joined as an osg after a very long application and vetting process ( 17 months )
I had very high hopes of working in a well run professional environment but these were dashed very quickly. There was virtually no training and I only learned by my mistakes for which I was humiliated by my longer serving colleagues. Unfortunately there were very strong cliques and as a new starter I didn't feel at all comfortable or welcome.
I am not at all surprised that the prison I worked at struggle to attract or retain staff and is currently massively under staffed.
The responsibility level and shifts expected of you are far in excess of the £18300 a year salary. You can earn a lot more for considerably less stress which is exactly what I did. Unless you are desperate it's a job to avoid until there are massive improvements in training and salary.
Pros
Free parking
Cons
Cliquey staff, low pay, poor training
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Exciting but dangerous job
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Thames Valley6 August 2018
If you are young, bored and looking for an adventure the Prison Service is amazing in the short term. Dependant on the type of Prison, you will be in serious incidents almost from day one! The service is in a genuine crisis with extreme violence and drugs that has to be seen to be believed. Do not do this job for more than a few years however as being in fight or flight mode for months on end causes genuine mental health issues. An incredible experience, but stupidly dangerous at times. Amazing teams to work in and tonnes of adrenaline. Just be careful. It's more dangerous than the army or police. You can have a positive impact on prisoners, it can be rewarding at times - but this job really is not for the faint hearted.
Pros
Incredible experiences/adventure
Cons
Emotionally draining in the longer term
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Not good
HMP (Former Employee) –  Rather not say3 August 2018
I had worked for HMP for about 2 and half years and it's terrible, a lot of corruption between staff, a lot of favouritism and you don't get much support if you're feeling under pressure or stressed. Especially as a female it's very hard to do your job properly and get the respect you give. I saw more in The 2 half years than I saw in my whole entire life. They say getting new staff is going to make it better and it's not because you have loads of experienced officers leaving for whatever reason then you get a whole bunch of new staff that don't know what they're doing and it takes you about a year to get use the job. It's too late for the system to make it better and to rehabilitate. I wouldn't recommend this job to anyone
Pros
Annual leave
Cons
Everything else but annual leave
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Can be rewarding but difficult work at times.
prison officer (Former Employee) –  HMP Cardiff9 July 2018
No two days are the same. You learn various skills of how to deal with sometimes difficult and challenging people. Some of your superiors will offer you all kinds of support others unfortunately are there for their own progression. There is a good work life culture amongst staff, most staff are their for each other and give help and support when they can. Some of the hardest part of the job is dealing with a refractory prisoner who will not comply with prison life and just wants to cause violence to you or your colleagues. The most enjoyable part is when you help a prisoner with his rehabilitation and they break the offending cycle.
Pros
Good leave and pay
Cons
Long shifts
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Very stressful and violent place to work
Prison Officer (Current Employee) –  Chelmsford5 July 2018
A roll which is dictated by Government dictate which in turn means that direction of the service fluctuates from whichever minister is in charge which can cause disruption and have volatile consequences. The job is very demanding dealing with people who are very vulnerable from mental health and addiction to the violent and aggressive. You have to learn to work within a team there will be time to be able to work on solo projects but they are limited at basic grades.
Pros
pension and leave
Cons
assaultson staff, daily violence, death in custody
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a great place to work
prison officer (Current Employee) –  norwich1 July 2018
A great business depends on the characters who do things differently and we must be careful to cherish them and make sure the system does not push them out.
Waitrose/ cooperative for example the employee is the co owner who shares in the annual profits. so the source of the staff loyalty is not much of a mystery . even so the company go to great lengths to draw out and support peoples personal interests. a thriving club culture. cooking, crafts, swimming and so on. A company that strives to create the right atmosphere to make staff comfortable and be themselves. so challenges in the daily workplace will come and naturally be dealt with because you want to be there. happy to be there and ready to undertake any task set in front of you.
Pros
free tea and coffee
Cons
no canteen area
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stressful and dangerous
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Cardiff11 June 2018
not a job for the faint hearted. think long and hard before applying. i personally had 20 fantastic years, but have seen a worrying decline in the calibre of staff being recruited, making prisons an even m,ore dangerous place to be. unfortunately the prison service is only a job now, where as when i joined it was not only a career, but a calling.
Pros
good amount of annual leave
Cons
dangerous conditions
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A changing environment
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire1 June 2018
I joined the prison service at a time when it had many benefits, primarily security of employment and a good pension. The basics of the role have not substantially changed but the benefits have. Security and safety alongside the aim of offender reform had to be managed, and for me the maintenance of healthcare.
Pros
Team working environment
Cons
Long and sometimes unpredictable hours
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busy days
Prison Officer / Physical Education Officer (Current Employee) –  Kent9 May 2018
It is always busy. Different opportunities for devleopment and promotion. Meet new people. Different challenges and shift work. Challenging opportunity
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Interesting job
Officer (Former Employee) –  London SE, Greater London6 May 2018
This job is very interesting, you will meet people from all backgrounds and from all nationalities with all different needs.
It can be a very rewarding job but aslo very stressful because you will witness things you would not normally see.
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Challenging and Rewarding
Senior Officer (Current Employee) –  Bristol, Bristol1 May 2018
Overall the prison service has been a very good experience for me, promoting teamwork but also allowing you to express yourself and work with minimum supervision. The work is routine based, however, you never know what is going to happen from day to day. It can be a very challenging but at the same time very rewarding with a great deal of job satisfaction.

I enjoy working within a team but can also work with minimum supervision. Workplace culture is something I would think that can be alien to most people but that feeling of helping someone and a job well done is very satisfying.
Pros
Excellent teamwork
Cons
Long hours, shift work
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Awful staff , no management skills
Senior Officer (Former Employee) –  All Over9 April 2018
I worked at various HMP’s over many years. At first it was ok but at a certain prison in Redditch the bullying towards one member of staff was off the scale. She was brilliant at her job and I believe other staff resented it.
No support from management, staff bully inmates and laugh about it then moan when the prisoners turn on them.
Great if you’re a bully or a thug. But if you genuinely want to help someone you’d be in the wrong job.
Pros
Overtime pay
Cons
Long hours, no support, horrible staff
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Great But Be Cery Careful
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Stafford, Staffordshire7 April 2018
Great Job but very challenging & dangerous..
You'd think I was talking about Prisoners..

Well no its the Staff ..2 faced & Racist. Management cover it up all the time.

If you act like a big head then be prepared to get a big knock down to earth..by Prisoners..Be firm but fair..
Never ever give in to them or you will end up being their dog.

Trust no staff Ever. All 2 faced.
Pros
Good scoop to move up the ladder ..
Cons
Staff worse than the Prisoners, Management dont care
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Great organisation, Great team of people
Case Administrator (Current Employee) –  Wales3 April 2018
We do a very difficult job under very challenging circumstances.
No two days are the same, so we are never bored, but we are very proud to be part of this organization.
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large company
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Preston21 March 2018
working for the Prison service is a demanding job , every day was different, however the job was secure but management didn't really care about staff , leaving staffing levels dangerously low.
Pros
good hours and pay
Cons
poor staffing levels
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Good place to work great team. As you rely on each other for support
Maintenance Operative (Current Employee) –  Redditch27 February 2018
I joined the service in 1993 as a prison officer which I did for the first 12 months before moving into the works department which I found I was more suited to. I learnt a lot of new skills and became trained as a locksmith. I always imagined I would be there until I retired but our department was put in the hands of a private sector company who have no experience of prison maintenance. Which has lead to many long serving experienced staff leaving. As I will be
Pros
Great bunch of staff members
Cons
Working in a sometimes disturbing and scary environment
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Please don’t do it
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Redditch, Worcestershire20 February 2018
I worked as a prison officer for just over 13 years. As you can imagine I have seen it all. Nowadays the bad days overrule the good days. Prisoners are running the houseblocks. New staff are generally 18-23 with very little life experience, new staff are learning the job from staff with less than 12 months experience. The amount of serious assaults against staff has risen 10 fold, with honestly very little consequence to the offenders.
I certainly would not recommend this job to anybody.
Very few supportive governors, most governors are out to further their own career by stepping on the shop floor staff.
The service needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom.
Prison officers are being promoted to senior officers after just coming out of 12 months probation.
Think would you want to go home every single night worrying what you had to walk back into the next day? Whether you were going to get seriously assaulted, covered in human excrement, slashed across the face with a razor melted into a toothbrush, find a prisoner hanging, dead!
Is it worth it for just over £20k??
Pros
Commaradrie, overtime payments.
Cons
Daily assaults, high stress rates, inept governors
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An Institutionally Corrupt Organisation
Supervisory Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Surrey19 February 2018
A failing organisation which puts nepotism and appeasement above the basic point of the Service. The remuneration for the demands of the job fails to recognise the complexity, danger and necessary skills. Underfunded, abysmally managed, in dire need of root and branch reform.
Pros
non
Cons
pay, working conditions, risk of assaults, no management support
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Greasy team
Prison Officer (Current Employee) –  Sutton, Greater London11 February 2018
Lots of commardie, no day is the same, continuous learning , only leaving as due to retire. Need to be compassionate, caring but stay in control. You have good days and bad days but the good outweigh the bad. Be prepared for the out ragous. Sometimes you can be mother, father, care worker.
Pros
Good company to work for good pension
Cons
Can be long hours
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Not to be discussed sorry
Staff Nurse (Former Employee) –  Norwich8 February 2018
Not to be discussed sorry.I was bullied in this environment.Clinical lead at that time as well as other nurses is not supportive to newly staff members.
Pros
Good rxperience
Cons
Bully
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Overall rating

3.6
Based on 214 reviews
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