- Position description
- Important information to consider
- Application process
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Once you’ve decided to become a prison officer there’s a few things you need to know to about the role before you apply.
Video transcript: Positivity counts - join the team
Andrew Reaper, Assistant Commissioner, Corrections Victoria:
“The qualities of a good prison officer are really diverse and the tasks that they undertake on a daily basis always change. But in reality they need to have great ability to build relationships and be really respectful in their engagement with everyone who comes in contact with our system.”
Addie, Prison Officer, Corrections Victoria:
“The skills that you need to be a really great prison officer are empathy, compassion, really great communication skills and the ability to sort through sometimes very complex needs.”
Susan, Prison Officer, Corrections Victoria:
“You need to be able to accept and deal with change. You need to accept people in all the various diversity.”
Michael, Senior Prison Officer, Corrections Victoria:
“It can be quite a challenging environment to work in and having a positive attitude definitely helps.”
“You can't be in a positive frame and interact well with our people in our care 90% of the time because that 10% will undermine it.”
Darrin, Supervisor, Corrections Victoria:
“The biggest tool that you can bring into the job is that communication. Because when you're sitting down having a one on one discussion with a prisoner, the better you're able to build that rapport with them and just develop a bit of trust and some understanding.”
Alex Cano, Acting General Manager, Case Management, Corrections Victoria:
“I think listening plays a crucial role when you engage with an individual and just trying to understand where somebody is coming from.”
Megan, Prison Officer, Corrections Victoria:
“I think just being able to talk to people and come down to their level. Don't judge people. Be respectful and have empathy.”
Abuk, Prison Officer, Corrections Victoria:
“Having the ability to relate, to be understanding and to place yourself in someone else's shoes.”
Larissa Strong, Commissioner, Corrections Victoria:
“We want prison officers that are interested in people, that are interested in actually supporting someone make that change. We will give them the skills about how to support that, how to motivate someone to make that change but this is a job about people, as well as be able to, you know, work in a multidisciplinary team environment and see different perspectives.”
Simone Shaw, Clinical Director, Corrections Victoria:
“So essentially, we're looking for staff who see value in the public service that we do here in creating a safer community.”
“We want prison officers of different backgrounds, with different diversities, with different life skills and experiences. We want to mirror the community. So give it a go and make the enquiry.”
We recommend that you read the position description. It will give you an understanding of the expectations and responsibilities of a prison officer. This can help with your application process and give you a sense of the requirements of the job.
Important information to consider
The highest levels of integrity are expected from all employees. In your job application you are required to fully disclose any offences or convictions you have had, regardless of the type of offence or when they happened. It is an important indicator about the level of your integrity that you disclose the information at the start of the process.
Health and fitness
To become a prison officer you need to have a good level of health and fitness. Applicants are encouraged to prepare by learning more about the health and fitness requirements and completing the self-assessment .
For safety reasons, prison officers must not have facial hair. Note that there are exceptions on religious grounds.
At most prisons, you’ll be required to work on a 24 hour/ seven-day roster including public holidays. Each prison operates different shift lengths, start and finish times.
Prison officers are provided with a uniform that they wear during their shift.
There is a total smoking ban at all Victorian prisons. Staff and prisoners cannot have tobacco related products or e-cigarettes in any area of a prison.
To be eligible for appointment as a prison officer in a Corrections Victoria facility, you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or hold Australian permanent residency. You must also possess a current Victorian driver’s license (minimum P2 category) and be willing to obtain a current first aid certificate.
The department is committed to providing and maintaining a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of its employees consistent with the department's obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic). Therefore, there is a requirement that all DJCS employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to undertake duties outside of their homes.
Prior to starting employment with the department you will need to provide evidence that you are vaccinated against COVID-19. Acceptable evidence includes: