Justice Secretary Liz Truss has just announced that 2,100 extra prison officers are to be recruited and deployed in UK prisons. According to Truss, this move is being made to reduce the amount of attacks on prisoners and officers in English and Welsh prisons. Supposedly, bolstering the amount of prison officers will bring to ratio of prisoners to officers up to 6:1. This will allow a dedicated officer to approximately six prisoners. If you’re interested in becoming a prison officer, now is a great time to apply. If you want to know more about how to become a UK prison officer, take a look at our book: How 2 Become a Prison Officer.
Over the past six years, the number of deployed prison officers in the UK has fallen from 25,000 to 18,000. While the new 2,100 officers do not make up for the 7,000-officer reduction since 2010, more prison officers are welcome. This is particularly the case since attacks on prisoners and prison staff have increased by 43% over the first half of 2016. Approximately 10% of these attacks were considered ‘serious’, which has clearly been a cause for concern. While the number of prisoners in UK jails hasn’t raised much since 2010, more officers and staff will be vital in preventing increasing violence in prisons.
How does this affect me?
If you’re already deployed as a prison officer or prison staff, this is obviously great news. Staffing cuts over the past 6 years have exacerbated resources and personnel, and having more officers will hopefully make life easier for those already working in prisons.
For those of you who are looking to become a prison officer, it’s also good to hear that more officers are being deployed. With 2,100 new jobs being created, now is a great time to apply to become a prison officer. Cuts to the numbers of prison officers were made in previous years to save money. However, now it appears that the Conservative Government is taking note of declining safety and standards in prisons. It’s possible that they now want to make a change. While this doesn’t indicate more recruitment drives in the near future, those looking to become a prison officer would do well to apply now.
Of course, an increase in prison violence probably isn’t particularly inviting, and it’s perfectly natural to feel concerned about your own safety were you to work in a prison. However, with the correct training, you can keep yourself as safe as possible whilst being an effective prison officer.
What about everybody else?
This news is also good for the rest of us. Hopefully, more prison officers will lead to greater attention being given to prisoners. In turn, this means that prisoners could be rehabilitated better. This might mean that when prisoners are finally released back into society, they are better adjusted and less likely to commit offences again. By no means will this entirely solve the problems of reoffenders, but might be a step in the right direction.
Moreover, having more prison officers deployed means that there are more people in the workplace. While 2,100 is quite a small number of people when considering the entire workforce, it’s always better to have more people in work.
How to Become a UK Prison Officer
Want to know how to become a UK prison officer? Now is a great time to apply. Make sure that you’re fully prepared with our book, How 2 Become a Prison Officer. Written by experts, the book includes insider’s tips which will prepare you for the application and training processes. You can also check out our online course, which will prepare you for the NOMS careers selection process.