Prison Custody Officer [PCO] – HMP Thameside
40 hours per week
£26,268 per annum, rising to £28,882 after 2 years
Being a Prison Custody Officer is not always easy but it is rewarding.
At HMP Thameside we provide a safe, decent, secure and respectful environment that encapsulates a wide range of constructive activities. The regime both combines and embraces work, education, vocational training, accredited offending behaviour programmes, as well as prisoner health and appropriate interventions where individual need is identified. HMP Thameside is a Local category B establishment that can currently hold 1,232 convicted and remand male prisoners.
Make no mistake, this is a role where your contribution counts - helping to give offenders structure within their lives, being a role model to encourage positive choices and ensuring that the prisoners are supported during their rehabilitation journey. When you are on duty you will act as mentor and will assure the safety, security and decency of prisoners and perform a pivotal role within the prison and the community it serves.
Daily duties involve:
- Supervising prisoners in all aspects of wing based activity
- Encouraging prisoners to go to work or complete the jobs they have within the prison
- Attending additional education classes
- Serving food and effectively managing prisoners at risk of self-harm
- Operational matters such as prisoner headcounts, searching, supervision and security together with administrative processes must all be effectively delivered.
Every prisoner reacts differently and you will see a full range of emotions from; apathy, anger, remorse or trauma. For the person in prison it can be one of the most stressful situations they will ever encounter, but for you it’s an everyday part of your job.
What we’re looking for:
Can you do it? Yes you can - if you have the resilience, integrity and professionalism to handle an ever-changing day, irrespective of the challenging situation you may face. Your natural patience, understanding and commitment to helping people will stand you in good stead – and give you the authority needed - for this position.
Being a Prison Custody Officer demands the best, and our people come to us from a variety of backgrounds. What they will have in common is an ability to relate to people, exceptional communication skills, a commitment to supporting their colleagues and the knowledge that what they do will have a positive impact on their communities.
As a minimum you will evidence that you hold a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills (or equivalent) including English and Maths and we will test that during the process. It is important that you possess the skills that would allow you to pass a variety of mandatory training courses and have a level of fitness to pass Control and Restraint training.
Salary & Benefits:
The salary for the role is initially £25,628 (including London Weighting). There is a clear salary structure in place to reward you as you grow and develop in the role meaning that after 12 months service the salary will rise to £26,903 and up to £28,178 per annum after 2 years’ service.
As well as a clear salary structure and career progression, we offer you a holiday entitlement of 23 days plus bank holidays, with your holiday entitlement rising after 1 and 2 years in service, up to 6% contributory pension scheme, Life Assurance and access to childcare vouchers. Alongside Serco discounts which include cinema, merlin entertainment and online shopping discounts, cycle to work scheme and discounts on mobile phone plans and leisure centre memberships.
Hours & Shifts:
The service that we provide to our prisoners is available every day of the year across a 24 hour period, meaning you will have to cover various shift patterns; including days, evenings, weekends, nights and bank holidays with an average of 40 hours per week.
Once you have passed the selection and vetting process, you will attend an 8 week Initial Training Course (ITC) at the establishment you have been recruited for, and you will be required to have 100% attendance. The ITC will provide high quality training where you will complete a Diploma in Custodial Care and undergo Control and Restraint training. You will also shadow experienced PCO’s on shift to give you a real taste of life on the job.
This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and all offers of employment are subject to security clearance checks and approval by the Home Office.