Prison officer encourages others to start a career in the service

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A prison officer who relocated to the Midlands and found a new life is urging local people to consider a job in the Prison Service.

Brittany Bent, 23, joined HMP Hewell straight out of college and now plays an important role in helping to protect the public.

Originally from Lancashire, Brittany joined the prison in Worcestershire four years ago. She is now using skills gained from her course in public services to engage with prisoners and help break the cycle of crime.

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Brittany says: “On my college course I studied different parts of public service, including policing and other custodial environments. I always wanted to work in the justice system when I finished school, it was a three-year course and I loved it.

Brittany and her dog Rosie.Brittany and her dog Rosie.
Brittany and her dog Rosie.

“My tutor was a former prison officer, and speaking to her planted the idea of becoming one myself. That’s the route I took. After college my friends were applying for university, and I was looking for jobs in prison! When they were out during freshers’ week I was moving two hours away looking for somewhere to live on my own. It was a big challenge but one I was ready for.

“I have grown so much as a person. At first, my family thought I was so young and I wouldn’t last and come home - but I can’t be a quitter. There’s never been a time when I thought I can’t do this. My family are so proud of me now and proud that I have built a life alongside the job.”

There are no previous qualifications needed to become an operational support staff or prison officer at HMP Hewell. Personal qualities are much more important, and all the necessary training is provided. You should have good judgement, common sense, responsibility and, above all, the ability to work in a team. 

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 Brittany adds: “I would recommend being a prison officer 100%, it’s an amazing role and it helps you to better yourself as a person. It’s not just a job, it’s a career. The opportunities are amazing as long as you are prepared for the bad days as well as the good.

“You are able to deal with that by working with your team, everyone around me is amazing. We are like a family and without them I wouldn’t be in the same situation.

“The biggest skill you need to have is being able to listen to people from every aspect of life, every culture.

“There are so many different career opportunities to progress or step sideways into another role. You can become a dog handler, physical education instructor, a trainer or even go into specialised roles such as security. 

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“If you’re thinking about having a fresh start this year and want a career that’s rewarding and fast-paced, I’d definitely recommend finding out more and applying. Even if you’re working in a completely different career, there are so many transferrable skills that can be applied in the role of a Prison Officer.”

A good prison officer is able to strike up a natural rapport and act as a positive influence and is willing to support their fellow officers and colleagues. Able to think on their feet, they can keep calm under pressure and make quick & effective decisions.   

Ralph Lubkowski, Governor of HMP Hewell, says Brittany has already made a huge difference to the team in his prison.

Ralph says: “Brittany has been a great addition to the team at Hewell and has made a life for herself in the area.

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“She was only young when she joined us but has already learned so much and is a great influence on her fellow officers and prisoners alike. She has her sights set on a long career at HMP Hewell and I know she’ll be a great success.”

 HMP Hewell is looking for officers to join Brittany and their team. New prison officer recruits start on a salary of £30,902 and full training will be given. To find out more click: 





Notes to Editors   

An extraordinary job. Done by someone like you.   

·       Last Autumn, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched its first ever national TV and radio campaign, in major new drive to recruit prison and probation officers.A copy of the advert and images can be found here.   

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·       If you have the integrity, skills and strength of character we’re looking for then becoming a prison officer or Officer Support Grade (OSG) could be the start of a successful career. No two shifts or situations are ever the same. And, as you gain experience, you’ll find a range of opportunities to grow and develop into.  

·       As a prison officer, you’ll have the opportunity to carry many different roles within any one day. One minute you’re a peacekeeper, the next you’re a counsellor or a teacher. You’ll work directly with prisoners in a unique environment, helping to protect the public and make a positive impact.   

·       You’ll be given great training and opportunities for progression and development - including the chance to specialise in different areas.   

·       You can expect a salary starting from £30,902 as well as 25 days’ holiday allowance each year, a Civil Service pension, season ticket loans, retail discounts, Employee Assistance Programme and Cycle to Work scheme.   

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·       The rewards aren’t all you’ll gain from a role in the prison service. There’s the sense of achievement you feel when you’ve helped an offender to get their life back on track - the kind of experience you simply won’t find anywhere else. For more information search Prison Jobs.