As part of our prison support team, your work will be varied and help to keep the prison moving.
This is an active role where you’ll be doing a range of physical tasks. These can include include lifting and carrying, plus long periods of standing and walking.
At times, during day and night shifts, there will be times where you will need to work alone.
You will not always be in contact with prisoners, it depends on the prison you work in. You’ll have full training and a supportive team by your side.
Your job can include:
- ensuring the secure entry and exit of staff, visitors, vehicles
- carrying out searches of staff, prisoners, visitors and vehicles
- walking around the prison site to escort vehicles and contractors
- issuing and collecting staff keys and radios
- walking around the prison site patrolling and searching perimeter fence areas
- operating the prison radio system
- monitoring CCTV, ensuring all suspicious activities are reported
- welcoming visitors on their arrival
- escorting them if needed
- monitoring and logging mail coming into the prison
- reporting any contraband items, preserving evidence where needed
- ensuring cell doors are locked and all prisoners are safely accounted for
- photographing prisoners
- processing prisoners’ property and parcels coming in to the prison
- sometimes supervising prisoners
- exchanging clothing and property
- helping prison officers escort prisoners around the prison
- walking around the prison delivering and collecting food trollies, or sometimes using an electric tug vehicle
- transporting prisoners and their escorts to their destination
- collecting mail from the local sorting office, which may involve lifting heavy sacks
- monitoring the prison’s Personal Identification Number (PIN) phone system
- maintaining the log of PIN phone requests from prisoners
- completing relevant records
Procedures and protocol
- understanding and conforming to national and local policies, responding appropriately to incidents and emergencies
Most prisons work with a changing shift pattern of an average of 37 hours a week, made up of a range of shifts. You’ll need to work some nights, weekends and public holidays (these days are added to your holiday allowance). You will generally know your shift pattern 6 weeks in advance.
Shifts usually follow regular hours although the start and finish time may vary depending on your prison. The frequency of night shifts also varies between prison. Nights are worked in a 7-day block and are followed by a week of rest days (days off).
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What’s it like working as an OSG?
Read more stories about working as an OSG on our blog (opens in a new tab)