Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
3.3 out of 5 stars.
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Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service Employee Reviews

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3.1Work-life balance

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Found 1,178 reviews matching the searchSee all 1,265 reviews

Not easy and not well paid

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Not a good work life balance. Initial salary way too low. Issues with recruitment and staff retention. Constantly understaffed. Great colleagues who look after each other every day is different. If you are squeamish then this is not the job for you

Pros

None

Cons

Dangerous environment
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Avoid!

I work as a specialist Instructor in a workshop at an establishment. The number 1 priority is the prisoners! Staff safety comes second in my eyes which is very unfortunate considering the nature of the job. Where the workshops are concerned the governors are only bothered about getting as many prisoners into the workshops regardless of their suitability for the type of workshop they are put in. We deal with prisoners with serious mental health problems who should not even be in a workshop with tools and machines. Their is no assessment or criteria that the prisoners have to meet that governs this! The amount of work we have for the prisoners to do is little, yet governors and managers still insist on putting more prisoners into workshops. This ultimately creates its own big problem with prisoners sitting around in the workshop and doing little or nothing, it then leads to them messing about and causing problems or breaking things where the instructors basically turn into babysitters, policing bad behaviour whilst trying to continue with production to meet the targets set. There is little in the way of meaningful activity for the prisoners to do which is unfair on them as some actually want to work and learn, not many, but some do. The workshop where I work is seriously understaffed and management cannot get suitably qualified people through the door. This is probably down to the lower pay compared to private sector workers and no possibility of regular overtime. The plus side is what drew myself to the job and that is working 5 days a week, Mon-Fri, no early starts or late finishes, - 

Pros

37.5, hr week Mon-Fri

Cons

Understaffed, too many prisoners and not enough work, an accident waiting to happen. Senior management do not listen.
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Horrendous

Avoid … your mentalHealth will be affected so badly … your family life ruined … overworked , the forgotten service very unsafe .. constant turnaround of very young immature staff

Pros

None

Cons

Underplayed, no management support, you are a number, mental health affected so bad
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Admin overlooked

If you are applying for an admin/supply role expect to be undervalued and overlooked. Management do not care about you and you do not get paid enough even if they tell you, you are.
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Underpaid and terrible conditions

Poor work conditions, terrible pay for what the job is. Treated poorly by management. Hectic and stressful environment. Definitely not for everyone and unfortunately you will not know if you have what it takes until you start working.

Pros

Overtime, progression

Cons

Conditions, managment, pay
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The prisoners are treated better than the staff

ignored by the managers, surrounded by two faced fake people, very negative work environment, The prisoners get lots of thanks from the managers but the staff get nothing. Crazy shift pattern with not enough down time in the working week, if you are attacked it just gets thrown out and your made to feel in the wrong.

Pros

good annual leave..when it wasn't denied

Cons

poor management
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Would not recommend

Treated appallingly by senior members of staff.. Problems never resolved. Constantly recruiting because officers are Constantly leaving. If you want your sanity and you want to be treated like a human being with respect then don't work for the prison service. Pay is poor.

Pros

Friendly team

Cons

Long hours
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Awful

Worst place I have ever worked, no care for staff they care more about keeping the prisoners happy than keeping staff safe. 10/10 would not recommend. Glad I left when I did as it’s only getting worse

Pros

Some early finishes

Cons

Everything
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Don't be fooled

Lots of initial promises of excellent support and 24/7 support, in reality once training is complete (9 weeks) your on your own, the training basically covers the employers backside and doesn't cover the much needed help you really need. Extremely poor support from senior managers and don't expect much from your wing manager as most of the time they aren't available or hiding in an office somewhere. When something goes wrong they'll look for someone else to blame. It's all about making G4S look good and their shabby image out of the press. It says it all when the 2nd benefit in the job description is free car parking! Staff turnover is horrendous, very stressful, so many drugs inside it's unbelievable yet most of it comes from the staff! No flexibility in shifts, that was taken away, it's set shifts and alternative long weekends, very soft on the inmates who basically run the wings.You have been warned!

Pros

Going home

Cons

14 hour shifts, lack of proper training, support, and forget quality time with your family
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Not the best place to work

Very clicky place to work of your face doesn’t fit back stabbing no help with on going issues whilst working there handed my notice in hence the review
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Teamwork is the biggest thing, working together to complete the tasks for your shift.

I worked for the prison service for over 23 years, it’s not easy but it can be rewarding. You will have good days and bad days but generally there are more good than bad. You need to understand that you will encounter difficulties being the threat of violence from prisoners plus emotional situations that can be difficult to deal with. The job requires life skills as well as being educated to a good level, I have enjoyed my time in the service, meeting a large circle of different people being staff and prisoners, would I recommend working for the prison service the answer is yes but if you find out it’s not for you leave as staying will only make things worse.

Pros

Challenges, working within a big family

Cons

The unfortunate events that happen that can make you rethink the job
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Over worked, under paid and under appreciated

If you’re looking for a job where you’ll be stressed constantly, thrown under the bus by management and zero trust in most colleagues then this is the place for you. Most of management will hide out the way in offices and not back their staff. However if you’re not bothered about any of the above and want to earn a tonne of money in overtime because their always short staffed then apply now.

Pros

Good Overtime rate, good officer banter

Cons

Zero home life balance, untrustworthy management, little career progression
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Sense of helping community

Though job of supervising offenders sounds easy but it can be very challenging. You need to have lot of courage to cahhlenge all kind of problems physical and mental. To u understand the psyche of offenders from all walks of life supervisors must have adequate psychological skills.

Pros

Sense of learning and reward

Cons

Handling difficult offenders
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Not good

Not paid enough for the work. Prisoners get away with murder by alit of management no point in doing your job to tge best of ypur ability cos you get no better thought of.
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Stressful

Work here if you want to have no work/home balance. Management is poor....very much a face fits culture. Not enough money for what you have to put up with.

Pros

Free parking...free lunch if you want chips everyday!

Cons

Management
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Do not work here

Understaffed.Most dangerous environment you can possibly work in.Only room for progression if you do ‘favours’ for senior staff.Most staff are corrupt.Staff are mostly around the age of 20 and have barely any life/work experience, especially in this environment. Most unsociable hours you can possibly work, goodbye Christmas, bank holidays, or any social events with friends. No support from senior staff, often left to struggle.Prisoners sell and move contraband around the whole jail daily, no control or authority at all. The list could go onThe only positives are that:The job can sometimes be rewarding as you can make positive changes in people’s lives. The overtime is basically infinite.Free meals all day.You can meet some great colleagues who can have a laugh. No day is the same, you always have a variety of jobs to complete and because you’re so busy the days fly by.

Pros

Variety filled days, free meals, potential future progression

Cons

Awful shifts, dangerous environment, no support, corrupt staff
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Supporting and achieving

This is a fast paced environment and a very fulfilling place to work, every day here is different, you will meet many different people throughout your day and some have challenging needs, you have to be cool calm and collected as situations can change very quickly.

Pros

Access to learning opportunities

Cons

None
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Awful Place to work

The money doesn't seem too bad at first but when you factor in the horrors that you have to put up with all day every day, you realise you should be on a lot more. Management don't know how to run the place and half of the wing officers don't know how to unlock a door, never mind how to solve a problem.Don't waste your time applying as most experienced staff no longer work on the wings and you are left to deal with the difficulties by yourself.
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Overall not a bad place to work job wise, it’s the people you work with that’s challenging

Overall the work can be challenging at times no 2 days are the same which keeps you alert and active-moral of staff is at an all time low which can drag you down if you let it
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Don’t bother

Management will not support you, you will be left to it and made to feel awful if you complain or raise may concerns. Better jobs out there paying more than the starting wage!!
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Cons outweighs the Pros by a country mile.

Some really good staff to work along side and it'll certainly show if you can hold your own, good insight into mental health issues and a range of diverse people you deal with. Some staff have no back bone and will give in because its the the lazy/ easy option rather than do their job properly. Could be so much done to make it easier for staff to do their job but it's geared in favour of prisoners as they make the company money and staff cost the company money. Most managers above senior would chuck you under the bus if it meant it made them look good. Normally 2 staff on a landing to 60 plus prisoner. Lack of staff every day/phone calls on days off to see if you will work. This leads to not enjoying time off as constantly run down, rubbish for family life.

Pros

Adrenaline rush, changing some prisoners mind set for the better, some good people to work alongside.

Cons

Long hours, lots of stress, low pay for the type of job, impact on family life, poor management.
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Overall rating

3.3

Based on 1,265 reviews
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Ratings by category

3.1Work/Life Balance
3.3Salary/Benefits
3.3Job security/advancement
2.8Management
3.0Culture
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