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How can we improve the prison service

high profile stories and issues for Prison Officers

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Thepower
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How can we improve the prison service

Post by Thepower » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:18 am

Hi guys, I'm due to leave the prison service and decided to write down the main issues are within prisons and how to improve her majesty's prison.

1) more staff... Self explanatory we are on our arses in terms of staffing levels and the service is not running anywhere near as well as it did when I joined.it means shortcuts are been taken because it's not physically possible to do everything in a day now.

2) less reliance on PP a lot of people in the job love the PP element but i believe this attitude is what's causing the prison service problems at my establishment it's always the same faces doing it who must be making a fortune, by all means if your saving for a holiday etc I can't blame you. The same people are expected to cover unexpected shortfalls with bedwatches and constants.

3) there is no such thing as rehabilitation no one will change unless they want to and let's face it.... Prisoners don't change there scum!

4) govenors who know the job let's face it every establishment has the govenors who can quote PSO this and PSI that but how many can deal with cons? I've seen governors fast tracked having only ever worked in safer custody etc! Having govenors with real experience on the landings who have worked there way up not been fast tracked etc have knowledge of the job first!

5) more bang up! Forget about all this bollocks regarding they need 10 hours out of cell doing purposeful activities etc. We need to make prisons a place to be feared not a place to enjoy etc.

6) bring back the Principal officer rank I think this has been a big loss to the service... Should an S.O really be handling the responsibility of an Oscar? Let's face it there the second lowest staff rank with such huge responsibility there are many more Situations in the prison service where the Principal officer grade is greatly missed.

7) the POA I have used the POA on several occasions with internal matters and I for one have the greatest of respect for there representatives and hold them in the highest regards however I do not feel that they are nationally doing enough for our rights.

8. staff assaults- any prisoner thought to be involved in an assault on staff should be referred to the outside adjudication process not the internal one.

9) ensure all POELTS have experience of working in a prison for at least 6 months in an OSG role to understand a bit more of what there getting into, unfortunately the staffing levels aren't there to be able to carry a new officer with little or no understanding of the jail system and how things work, I appreciate this isn't there fault and I whole heartedly sympathise with new officers as it's impossible to give them the level off support I and many others received when we joined... I joined at 21 nearly 9 years ago when we had two to a landing and we could be properly mentored it would have been horrible to have expected new staff to join the service and deal with up to 60 cons on your own for the first time.

10) get the prison service run by people with genuine prison and landing experience not by people who have "criminal justice" backgrounds etc

11) more searches... With the influx of drones etc who knows what can be bought into a prison, also get more staff in the security departments so these searches can be done!

12) all visits closed visits regardless and any visitor caught with an illicit item should be banned from prisons for life and reffered to the police.

13) staff searched everytime they enter the establishment not just officer but admin doctors education religious guys etc.

14) less on cons human rights more about officers human rights... It's gotten to a stage now where an assault is seen as part and parcel of the job it should not be the case! how many times are we unlocking on orders when it is not safe to!

15) proper sentences for failed drugs tests etc especially on NPS!

16) pay the new starters more money...would you want to be starting now on that wage? With the risk of assaults,investigations etc? I wouldn't!


There are many more I could list but would just like everyone's opinion regardless if you agree or not.i feel it is at a sad stage due to staffing shortages etc that the prison system is been run by prisoners and not the staff themselves.

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anewstart
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by anewstart » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:00 am

Totally agree with everything there AND would personally add:

17) Reduce food choice to meat or vegetarian version, no multiple choice.

18) Incell power off at 11pm, on at 7am. No more TV half the night.

19) Compulsory withdrawal / detox for everybody. We force alcoholics to detox but keep drug addicts 'topped up' so upon leaving they still have habits, absolutely ridiculous.

20) The government should lease some spaces in foreign prisons, (surely cheaper than here, surprised Gove didn't think of it) and every single first time & second time prisoner is told they may be shipped to a prison abroad for the rest of their sentence (Thailand, Mexico, Philippines, Morocco, Russia, Romania, Liberia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, etc) if they don't follow the regime exactly or if once released they end up being sentenced to a 3rd period of imprisonment. That should make prisons safer for staff and improve rehabilitation rates!

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Thepower
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by Thepower » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:39 pm

I agree with every single one of them! Never ever been able to understand the whole retoxing situation, I also agree with the power thing there's nothing worse than on your set of nights hearing the darlings blasting out music at 6 in the morning!

johnboy83
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by johnboy83 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:30 pm

Thepower wrote: I also agree with the power thing there's nothing worse than on your set of nights hearing the darlings blasting out music at 6 in the morning!
Bet that can cause a whole host of problems with prisonsers blasting music out that early in morning!

9851colle
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by 9851colle » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:32 pm

21) Sort out the recruitment process- its too long, no consistency when calling SS.
Last edited by 9851colle on Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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freak
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by freak » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:50 pm

Totally agree sounds like the service is losing two good officers but I doubt they care
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Thepower
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by Thepower » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:28 pm

They are losing good officers daily.... In my opinion it seems since the privatisation of Birmingham the service is becoming more and more like the private sector every year...it's not a career anymore the experience you can gain is vital as a stepping stone no wonder staff turnovers so high

9851colle i believe recruitment has always been slow unfortunately however it should be priority now to get staff into jails

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kiloren
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by kiloren » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:05 am

Interesting reading power
I can't add any points as havnt started yet
"I know what I must do. I don't know if I'm strong enough to do it. Will you help me?"

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BigDave
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by BigDave » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:17 pm

Wow! Reading this makes me wonder what I'm letting myself in for :sloo: It's a good job I like a challenge :slbx:
However, I'm desperate to hand my notice in at my current sh#t dead end job, even though the pay is slightly better and I can leave my brain at home lol.
It's such a shame that the way the Prison Service is currently being run into the ground is driving away long serving officers with a wealth of experience and skills!

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Thepower
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by Thepower » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:25 pm

I'm sure you'll see for yourself and make of it what you will.... Unfortunately it seems now long serving officers are going to be a thing of the past it's a sad situation with the high turnover of staff...

Two years ago my wing would run on 5 and there was over 80 years of experience with all of us there sadly these people have left or been moved onto different units etc, now I've run on 5 staff and there has been less than 16 years experience between us and bare in mind I had nearly 9 of those years and I'm not even 30! Ha that shows how the service is changing

9851colle
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by 9851colle » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:46 pm

Ive spent 26 years in the Army, just under a year and half as OSG, near end of vetting for Officer and cannot wait for allocation, training then go live
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Thepower
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by Thepower » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:31 pm

I agree with you... with 26 years forces experience id drag you on to the landings right away! HMPS recruitment policy is frustrating

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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by turnscrew » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:49 pm

Experienced staff have left and are leaving in droves. This leaves inexperienced staff (not their fault) being run ragged by highly experienced and manipulative prisoners. It's a shitstorm waiting to happen (already happening). I really do feel for the new recruits starting as there is an element of the blind leading the blind, and prisoners being prisoners will take full advantage of this. As for the experienced Officers that are left, i feel alot of them are broken and just treading water until retirement. Workplace stress is a killer and there can't be many more stressful occupations than a uk prison officer.
Looking on the bright side, it's nearly christmas............but i'm working it again.

turnscrew
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by turnscrew » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:03 pm

Thepower wrote:I'm sure you'll see for yourself and make of it what you will.... Unfortunately it seems now long serving officers are going to be a thing of the past it's a sad situation with the high turnover of staff...

Two years ago my wing would run on 5 and there was over 80 years of experience with all of us there sadly these people have left or been moved onto different units etc, now I've run on 5 staff and there has been less than 16 years experience between us and bare in mind I had nearly 9 of those years and I'm not even 30! Ha that shows how the service is changing
5 staff on a wing with any amount of experience would be a boon in the current climate. Quite often S.O. and 3 at the moment.

Abu Kaboom reborn
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Re: How can we improve the prison service

Post by Abu Kaboom reborn » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:10 pm

An excellent topic, and some well written povs.

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