HM Prison Service Employee Reviews

Found 212 reviews matching the search See all 224 reviews
Sort by: Helpfulness | Rating | Date
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Communication is key
Prison Officer (Current Employee) –  Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire5 November 2018
Working here has greatly helped me with my interpersonal skills. communicate with 100's of different individuals on a daily basis. Everyone is different and it is all about how you communicate with them. The job has its pros but is very challenging at the same time with very limited support from senior management and other colleges.
Was this review helpful?YesNoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
good place to work
Operational Support Grade (Current Employee) –  Isle of Wight17 October 2018
OSG my daily role was on the main gate checking in vistors staff and doing checks on contractors and vehicles coming into the prison escorting the food truck and doing checks around the prison
Pros
n/a
Cons
long shifts with not a lot off time off
Was this review helpful?Yes 1NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Changing
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Banstead23 September 2018
this is a fast placed and fast thinking environment if you can't work on your own and hate close nit team this is not for you. hippies time of my life behind bars caring for others.
Was this review helpful?Yes 5No 1Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Approved Premises Residential Worker
Residential Worker (Former Employee) –  Stafford22 September 2018
Warning: the hours for the full-time role are horrendous and will jeopardise your health in the long run. If you have a partner/family then don't expect to see much of them, and when you do you'll most likely be shattered.

The salary is okay when factoring in the unsociable hours enhancements, but I don't consider it a worthy trade-off for the detrimental affect the job has on health and life outside of work.

Expect a small-office mentality, with the usual back-stabbing, insecurity and pettiness that can come with such environments; and working conditions only look set to worsen if the rumoured government plans to sell-off Approved Premises to a company of dubious repute, turn out to be true.

There is a tendency amongst some managers to give out lucrative weekend cover-shifts to their greedy friends who already earn 30k-plus a year as probation officers, yet also want to grab time-and-a-half shifts at the expense of regular sessional workers for whom that work is often a means to make ends meet.

New staff retention levels are not good, primarily due to the rota, but also because of arrogant, control-freak managers in charge of some Approved Premises.

There have been instances over recent years where staff are known to have not only stolen from the Approved Premises they work at, but also from ex-residents who've been recalled and whose property has been placed into 'safe' storage for later collection by relatives - yet it's been swept under the carpet by management. And they're the one's supposed to be helping to rehabilitate offenders?

As a stepping
  more... stone, or means to acquiring relevant experience en-route to more specialised work, this is okay; but long-term? I'd look elsewhere.  less
Pros
Career progression - that is if you crave higher stress levels.
Cons
The rota, management.
Was this review helpful?Yes 10NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Very rewarding career
National Offender management (Former Employee) –  London19 September 2018
I have worked in the prison service for nearly 30 years. i have dealt with and been involved in some very serious and sad incidents.
Each day was quite literally different and very, very unpredictable.
i enjoyed my job i had in the service and was given a huge amount of trust and worked for the most part unsupervised.
Building relationships with prisoners was key to doing your daily task/job, each day started at the same time however depending on what happened in the day was dependent on when you finished work. I have dealt with numerous self harm incidents and too many suicides. Violence was a daily occurrence with prisoner on prisoner and at times prisoner on staff.
Pros
Salary, shift pattern, annual leave
Cons
violence
Was this review helpful?Yes 4No 1Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
rubbish
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Isle of Wight19 September 2018
Not enough staff employed. constant cutbacks. glad I have left after taking voluntary redundancy. salary is a lot less from when I worked there. rolling shift patrern.
Was this review helpful?Yes 7No 2Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Dangerous
Prison Officer (Current Employee) –  Devon12 September 2018
I have been an officer for nearly a year now, what a shambles.
You will be sent away on a 2 month training course which is a joke.
Once you have ticked the boxes you will return to you're jail and be dumped on a wing on you're own with a hundred odd inmates, due to the lack of staff you will have no guidance and it will be "sink or swim". I work in a non Victorian jail so you can spend a whole shift without seeing anyone which is even more worrying.
Weekends are massively understaffed so it is chaos on a Saturday and Sunday and the shift pattern is a joke, you can end up working 8 days in a row with a day off then back in till the following weekend ! If your jail is self rostering then that should work out a better shift pattern but ours is not and it is hideous.

The job can be fun, obviously given the nature of the work you are doing you get involved in some mad situations and can build a good team environment (when they are actually in). The pay is terrible for the level of stress and violence you are subject to everyday , I will say though the overtime is good you can earn alot of money if you are will to give up what little time you get off.

Leave is allocated to you and you do not get to pick when you have it, any spare days expect to get them in Jan and Feb as the prison service is so under staffed they won't let you take you're leave any other time.
Toil is never given back to you once again due to staffing issues.
You will be treated like much by the prisoners which is to be expected to be honest, but because of the lack of staff it is hard to challenge
  more... that behaviour as things quickly turn violent and you are not sure when help is going to turn up. The place have cameras everywhere but the only time I have seen them used is when a complaint against an officer is made it when staff corruption has been a problem. The management is non existent, the prison service could sole 70% if the problems in the jail's if they actually spoke to the staff working in the landings but you will find a governor sat in an officer in a separate building is telling you how best to run a wing when they spend all their time in an office.
Sick pay is poor only being a month, I know private company's who offer better packages, the pension is average.
And the staff on the old terms and conditions are currently on 31k a year when you are on 21k but the union members take no interest in that, the union is absolutely useless and I actually have not come across a union as weak as what the prison services is. some of the older staff are "unfit" and get put on the easy wings as they medically unable to get involved in restraining, which I find annoying also.

I hate to be negative but I wish someone had told me this prior to joining, I would have never have bothered if I knew it would have been like this.

All in all I don't personally think the job is worth losing you're social life over for a pitiful wage, and it can be extremely stressful for new starters as there is zero support and zero guidance from management who seem to hide in the admin blocks all day.

You have been warned..........
  less
Pros
Overtime rate
Cons
Under staffed, pay, work life balance, violence.
Was this review helpful?Yes 23NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Very busy
Prison Officer (Former Employee) –  Liverpool, Merseyside5 September 2018
No day is the same within the prison service. to do this role you have to be very strong minded and be able to put your personal convictions to one side due to the nature of the role.

Interpersonal skills are a must as this is what will make the difference between diffusing a situation or making matters worse.

it is a very demanding role but worthwhile at the same time. shifts seem to go over quickly no matter what the length.
Pros
wage, work life balance, company discounts, movement and promotion
Cons
shift work, lack of staffing
Was this review helpful?Yes 1NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great place to work
Technician / Maintenance Manager (Former Employee) –  Kirkham, Lancashire31 August 2018
worked in the service for over 12 years and loved every minute.
You are not a person in the job you are deemed as a family member. the wages are low but this is pure thanks to the government not the service. i left purely due to my team being tuped over to a private company.
Pros
to many
Cons
Low wages
Was this review helpful?Yes 1No 1Report
1.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Dangerous place to work
ex prison officer (Former Employee) –  south west21 August 2018
Before you decide to take up employment in this once original, and fascinating work. you need to consider the following.

Prisoners:- they will do anything to bend you to there way of thinking. Sometimes subtle. most often aggressively. they will ether intimidate you. or more often endanger themselves.
going from the extreme.....if your ok with seeing a body hanging from the cell windows. or more blood then a monty python sketch. from where they cut themselves. anything from small lacerations to life threatening cuts. you will also get drug induced incidents, which can sometimes put there life at risk.
you may get potted (human waste thrown over you). this has become more common over the last few years.
you may be assaulted. ether physically or sexually.

Staff:- you will meet some who will become lifelong friends. you will also meet some who have made it a career long excusal not to work with inmates. ( be watchful of this type.as they will have experience).
you will have governors who have had six months on the landings. and think they know everything. and will not question some of the strange things the government want to Implement. these are the fast track promotions. you will also have governors who are coming to the end of there careers who just don't want to rock the boat.
most middle management are now officers who have just got out of probation. and have no experience. the older members of staff are not interested, and few and far between.

If after all I've wrote you are still interested in the job. I would like to give you one advice...………
If you for
  more... some unknown reason get entangled. or have been cohered into bring something into an establishment...TELL SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY.
because as sure as eggs is eggs you will get caught.
that includes having a dangerous liaison with an inmate.
  less
Pros
hard to get fired
Cons
cons
Was this review helpful?Yes 19No 3Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 8NoReport
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 12No 3Report
1.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 10NoReport
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 4No 7Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 12No 2Report
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 3No 8Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 18No 3Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 7No 3Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Was this review helpful?Yes 6No 6Report
4.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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.
Was this review helpful?Yes 10No 2Report
Claim this company page

Want to know more about working here?

Ask a question about working or interviewing at HM Prison Service. Our community is ready to answer.

Ask a Question

Overall rating

3.6
Based on 224 reviews
555
470
360
224
115

Ratings by category

3.3Work/Life Balance
3.7Salary/Benefits
3.4Job Security/Advancement
2.9Management
3.4Culture