Proson officer (Former Employee) – HMP Liverpool – 24 January 2018
The prison service is a good career with lots of variety. It requires both team players and staff who can work as an individual. I have been lucky enough to have worked at Liverpool prison for 32 years.
OSG (Former Employee) – Evesham, Worcestershire – 17 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.
Warning: the hours for the full-time roles 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 - a factor exacerbated by the rumoured government plans to sell-off Approved Premises in the next few years to a company of dubious repute.
There is also a tendency amongst some managers to give out lucrative weekend cover-shifts to their greedy friends who earn 30k-plus a year as probation officers, yet 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 A.Ps.
As a stepping stone, or means to acquiring relevant experience en-route to more specialised work, this is okay; but long-term? I'd look elsewhere.
Pros Opportunity for progression within the service - that is if you crave higher stress levels.