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Working as a prison officer on the Isle of Sheppey

There are three prisons on the Isle of Sheppey, an island off the northern coast of Kent:

  • HMP Elmley is a category B local prison that houses men on remand to the local courts
  • HMP Stanford Hill is a category D open prison for men who have a maximum of 5 years until their release from custody
  • and HMP Swaleside is a men’s high security prison

While we will aim to find you a role in the prison you select as your preferred choice during the application process, this may not always be possible due to current operational requirements.

Find out more

Inside HMP Elmley

The largest of the prisons on the Isle of Sheppey, with a capacity of 1,230 men, HMP Elmley is a remand prison for offenders who are awaiting a trial date.

Prisoners have access to a range of education and training opportunities, including level 2 English and Maths, ICT, and City and Guilds construction certificates. The prison’s ‘In House Records’ record label gives prisoners an opportunity to learn how to play, create, mix and manage music.

Also on offer are accredited courses in forklift truck driving, street works and traffic management – with a guaranteed interview through the Mainstream group, upon completion.

Prisoners are employed in on-site gardening, environmental services, recycling, cleaning, laundry and kitchen jobs. Every three months, a selection of employers visit HMP Elmley to offer job vacancies, apprenticeships and training opportunities to prisoners who are approaching their release dates.

Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) provide a wide range of courses – including victim awareness, violence reduction, understanding reoffending triggers, and financial skills – to encourage prisoners to make positive changes in their lives.

Inside HMP Swaleside

With a capacity of 1,112 men, HMP Swaleside is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men convicted of serious offences can make positive use of their long sentences.

Prisoners have access to a range of learning opportunities – from basic skills, such as English and Maths, to distance learning with the Open University – provided by Amersham and Wickham College. The prison is also part of the Prisons ICT Academy (PICTA) which helps prepare prisoners for work in information and communications technology (ICT) roles.

Individuals work in a variety of areas in the prison, such as industrial cleaning and engineering. They are also employed by a number of industrial workshops through contracts with external businesses.

Inside HMP Stanford Hill

With a capacity of 464 men, HMP Stanford Hill is a category D open prison for men approaching the end of their sentences. Its main focus is on prisoners doing reparative or paid work in the community. Prisoners also work in the onsite workshop and horticulture department.

The prison’s education department offers a range of full and part-time learning and vocational training opportunities. Men can also engage in further and higher education on site, through distance learning, the local college, or on day-release to universities.

Working at an Isle of Sheppey prison

As an employee of HMP Elmley, HMP Stanford Hill or HMP Swaleside, you’ll have access to a range of facilities and employee benefits including:

• free, onsite parking

• use of free, onsite gym

• excellent training and career progression pathways.

Prison officer benefits

Working as a prison officer comes with a range of attractive benefits, including:

• 25 days’ annual holiday (rising to 30 days after 10 years’ service)*

Civil Service pension of up to 20% of your salary

• generous maternity leave cover

• cycle to work scheme and travel loans • property rental deposit loans

• tenancy loan agreements

• employee assistance programmes.

*As a prison operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will need to work on some public and Bank holidays. Any that you do work will be added to your annual leave entitlement.

Transport links

With ample parking at all three sites, the Isle of Sheppey is a 30 minute drive from Maidstone. It’s also easily accessible via the M2: around 40 minutes from Canterbury and Dartford.

The closest railway station is Sheerness, about eight miles away from the prison complex, with a connecting bus service.

Apply now

Take your next step to a rewarding career and start your prison officer application today.