The government has recently made an announcement bringing prison officer salary UK news. This announcement outlines plans to give prison officers at 31 prisons across London and the South East a substantial and immediate pay rise. In order to attract new recruits, the starting salary for prison officers at these locations will increase to £29,000 per year, representing a total rise of £5,000. Existing officers will also benefit from this announcement, with salaries for London staff potentially rising to £31,000.
Justice Secretary Elizabeth Truss has said that this £12 million decision was taken in order to attract “the best new talent into the service”, as well as show support to “frontline staff” who do “a challenging and demanding job day in day out.” The government also says that these changes form part of its “ambitious reform agenda”, which will also focus on better, more specialised training.
Prison system in crisis?
This training will focus on areas such as the prevention of self-harm and suicide, which saw a huge increase among prisoners from 2015 to 2016. In 2015, there were 90 self-inflicted deaths reported by prisons, a number which rose to 119 in 2016. This represented the highest prisoner suicide rate on record, and revealed how prisoners are being routinely failed in the area of mental health.
Record levels of suicide weren’t even the only problems faced by prisons in 2016. Instances of prison violence also spiked, including well-publicised riots which saw several prisons completely lose control over their inmates, threatening the safety of prisoners and staff alike. Clearly, the decision to introduce a pay rise for prison officers is a response to these serious and worsening issues.
More government plans
Government plans also include a new scheme to fast-track new graduates into an intensive prison officer training course, which will see trainees work on the front lines at the same time they earn a Masters qualification. In order to aid the transition into this demanding and potentially dangerous role, 75 mentors have been appointed for starter prison officers, including those on this scheme.
Similarly, there are also plans to create an apprenticeship scheme aimed at increasing inclusiveness and diversity amongst prison staff, and help ensure that people living locally to these 31 prisons are able to benefit from the investments in their area, by being prioritised for jobs. A further scheme, named ‘Troops to Officers’, will also be launched, which aims to encourage and support those who may choose to become a prison officer after having served in the military.
These new recruitment and prison officer training methods are intended not just to ensure that safety standards are continually met, but also to improve relations between prisoners and prison staff, which is conducive to successful rehabilitation. So, this prison officer salary UK news as a whole shows government willingness to invest in prisons, which is surely is a step in the right direction. The measure should attract well-qualified and ambitious applicants to the prison service, which is clearly what the government hopes to achieve with this plan.
For you, These measures present an opportunity to be at the forefront of the government’s “ambitious reform agenda”, and be a part of a change that the prison system so badly needs. Although not tfor everyone due to the extremely demanding nature of the work, being a prison officer in 2017 could be an extremely rewarding (and well-paid!) profession to consider.
More Prison Officer Salary UK news
To find out more about becoming a prison officer in the UK, follow this link.
For more information from the government on this prison officer salary UK news, follow this link.
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