U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Changing Role of the Prison Officer in England and Wales

NCJ Number
Keepers' Voice Volume: 16 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1995) Pages: 17-20
S Bryans
Date Published
4 pages
The role of the correctional officer in the prison system in England and Wales has changed dramatically in the last decade, based on the recognition by corrections manager that correctional personnel are an asset and not just a cost.
As a result, corrections agencies are investing in and developing correctional personnel. In addition, it is now accepted that correctional officers are crucial to the achievement of the goals of the Prison Service. Correctional guards still do the basic routine custodial work of locking and unlocking, walking the landings, feeding inmates, and escorting prisoners to court. However, they are also expected to be involved in dynamic security by interacting with inmates, occupying them in purposeful activity, and helping them acknowledge and address their offending behavior. Although direct supervision has taken place in some prisons for many years, correctional guards have only recently become involved in therapy work. Prison guards also are taking the lead in sentencing planning for inmates. Some of this new work has required comprehensive training. The Prison Service is committed to providing each correctional guard at least 6 days of training each year and has established a system of exchanges to enable officers to gain insight into other criminal justice agencies. Prison personnel are also becoming involved in strategic planning. Privatization and changing labor laws will affect the future work of correctional guards. Photograph