Career Profile – Prison Officer

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Name: John Ward

Job: Prison Officer

People join for different reasons. Some because a family member, relative, or close friend was, or is, in the Service. The opportunity of job security, financial, and pension entitlements are an influencing additional factor as is the uniqueness of the work and the obvious challenge that it brings with it. Working as part of a team is another plus.

The challenges are far too many to outline here. A prison is unique in that it holds persons of a highly violent nature; many with serious drug dependency problems, and psychiatric/psychological conditions – all of whom are deemed so unruly and unsafe to be left within the general community. The gang culture and organised crime that has so evidently manifested itself in the Ireland of today has to be managed and contained 24 hours a day, every day. The challenge in that is enormous. Working in a prison gives one a unique insight into life that is completely unknown to most others in society.

Undoubtedly the main and essential attributes are: common sense; inter-personal skills; observation skills; firm but fair approach to inmates, one’s duties and obligations. A level of physical fitness is also essential. Most officers work from 8am to 8pm. They supervise of all aspects of the daily routine: unlocking of cells; provision of all meals; supervision of the allocation and attendance of inmates to their workplaces; court appearances; hospital or other medical treatment; monitoring of gangs; responding to, and dealing with, the many daily acts of violence; transferring of inmates to and from other prisons; and the supervision of visits. This is to name but a few of the tasks involved. Any inmate has a statutory entitlement to meet with the Governor, Doctor, chaplain, or Probation Service.

In essence our job is to comply with the order of the court: ‘to safely keep the person in custody and to cause the order of the court to be carried out’. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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