Salary: £23,268 per annum plus Market forces allowance – £4,597.20 annually and London Weighting – £3,453 annually

Shift hours: Full Time

Great Prison Custody Officers (PCOs) are key to the smooth running of our prisons.  They have an important role to play in supporting prisoners with their rehabilitation and creating a positive and safe environment.

What makes a great PCO?

Given the nature of the role, we are predominantly looking for female applicants as part of this recruitment drive, however we will consider applications from male candidates, who will be considered as part of a subsequent campaign. Background and experience are not important. It’s the kind of person you are that matters. We can teach you the rest.

Are you responsible, reliable and good at building trust with others?

Are you the sort of person who:

  • Is reliable, true to your word and can always be depended on to get things done?
  • Always treats others fairly and with respect?  Are you able to see past bad behaviour and start each day afresh?
  • Is quick to notice things, such as changes in people’s moods or when something isn’t quite right?
  • Is consistent – people know where they stand with you.  Do you stick to the important rules (or if not you have very good reasons not to)?
  • Can easily connect and talk to all sorts of people from different backgrounds on their level?
  • Is straightforward and ‘tell it as it is’?
  • Helps others out including helping people find ways to help themselves?
  • Keeps calm under pressure

In this role you will be required to write reports and use IT systems and software packages independently. Basic skills are required  but training will be given as part of induction and ongoing development.

What’s the job like?

HMP/YOI Bronzefield is a female prison and as such there are specific duties that can only be conducted by a female officer, such as the searching, escorting and personal care of residents.  Your role will involve everything from managing the regular prison routines, (locking & unlocking, supervising meals and recreation time to escorting people to prison work and education) to one to one support work with your allocated residents.   One to one work will involve helping residents to settle into a new environment and feel safe and calm, working with them to identify and resolve issues and concerns, as well as supporting them through their sentence to engage in development and rehabilitation activity. 

You’ll need to deal with the more challenging aspects of prison life such as abusive and violent behaviour.  A willingness to understand trauma and its impact on behaviour is also important.  You’ll be working with all sorts of residents including those on long sentences, people convicted of serious crime and vulnerable individuals.  You will be liaising with all departments to help support our culture of decency and rehabilitation.

Our great PCOs come to us with all kinds of work and life experience. Some have worked in retail, healthcare, call centres and as taxi drivers. Others are ex-military, police and security services personnel. The work you’ve done before doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re ‘made of the right stuff’ – the rest you will learn during our intensive 9-week training course and then in the job with the support of experienced colleagues.

Why be a PCO?

People enjoy it for many reasons.  Some enjoy the variety and challenge of working with very different people and dealing with all sorts of issues. Others get a buzz from seeing the residents improve and progress (however small the changes).

Many PCOs appreciate the security and stability of the regular work routines. Others appreciate shift patterns, which allow them flexibility to carry out their responsibilities outside of work.

Reference: SDX/TP/RF6162/SJS

Location: HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Road, Staines, Middlesex, England