Become a prison officer and make a positive impact
Prison officers support prisoners with their rehabilitation so that prisoners can be more constructive members of the community when they are released. At the same time, prison officers keep prison facilities, prisoners and staff, safe and secure.
The skills prison officers have
To thrive in this job, you will need to be an effective communicator with a good level of empathy and resilience. Integrity and honesty are vital qualities, along with professionalism, situational awareness and the ability to follow procedures. You will also need to have emotional intelligence so you can be a consistent role model who makes considered decisions under pressure.
Benefits of becoming a prison officer
Start as a prison officer and develop a career across the whole of Corrections Victoria and the broader Victorian Public Service. Employee benefits you can look forward to include:
- 41 days of paid training
- A good work-life balance, with longer shifts and more days off
- Five weeks paid annual leave, three weeks personal leave and provisions for study leave
- Annual salary increases
- Earn up to $84,241 with a base salary $58,358 plus standard penalty rates and overtime
- Certificate III in Correctional Practice
- Learning and development courses and leadership programs
- Opportunities for higher duties
- Wellbeing programs including the Employee Assistance Program
- Salary packaging options for a novated car lease, superannuation and self-education expenses.
- Our team of recruiters are here to help.
- Start your new career at Corrections Victoria at a prison facility in Melbourne or regional Victoria.
- Contact us with any of your questions about the role or the recruitment process.
- We look forward to hearing from you via email email@example.com .
Check your eligibility
- Are you an Australian or New Zealand citizen or hold Australian permanent residency.
- Do you hold a current Victorian driver’s license (minimum P2 category) and are willing to obtain a first aid certificate.
- Can you successfully undergo pre-employment checks that may include national police checks, misconduct screening and traffic offences.
- Will you meet the level of health and fitness required for the role. Learn more by taking a close look at this fact sheet and by completing a self-assessment .
- Read the position description and make sure you can meet all of the requirements of the role.
Prison officer role
The work of prison officers helps make the community safer for everyone.
Prison officers are role models
Prison officers establish respectful working relationships with prisoners and consistently role model pro-social behaviours:
- positive and constructive conversations
- self-respect and respect for others
- integrity and honesty.
Prison officers are case managers
Prison officers are trained in case management so they can be effective providers of rehabilitation support to prisoners. Case management involves:
- encouraging prisoners to actively participate in the prison community
- helping prisoners to set constructive goals and take steps towards them
- supporting prisoners with positive decision making.
As case managers, prison officers provide prisoners with access to resources that will set them up for a better future. For example:
- They enable participation in work, learning and programs.
- They help prisoners re-establish themselves in the community, by connecting them with family, community groups and agencies.
Prison officers keep everyone safe and secure
Prison officers keep each other, prisoners and the facility safe and secure. They do this by building professional relationships with prisoners, and undertaking the following activities:
- Respond when there is a risk to the safety of people or the facility.
- Tune in to the mindset and actions of prisoners.
- Complete cell searches, pat-downs, drug and alcohol testing.
- De-escalate situations when necessary.
Prison officers act with integrity
Prison officers maintain high levels of integrity in all their conversations and actions. To be effective they are:
- Respectful of prisoners as individuals each with their own personal background.
- Highly aware of what’s going on and can make well considered decisions quickly.
- Fair, transparent, and consistent in all their interactions.
- Active listeners who can adapt their conversational approach to each prisoner individually.
- Comfortable standing their ground when challenging negative behaviours and reinforcing positive ones.
- Patient, non-judgemental and able to exercise empathy (but not sympathy), and establishing boundaries to develop effective working relationships.
Who makes a good prison officer?
Prison officers who enjoy their work most:
- Are motivated by the opportunity to serve the community.
- Have a real enthusiasm for seeing people succeed.
- Are naturally patient, positive and empathetic.
- Are team players who consistently work to the best of their ability.
Prison officers come from a wide range of backgrounds
All life experiences are highly valued in the prison officer role. Every person has the potential to make a good prison officer, particularly those with:
- Life experience such as travel, education, volunteering, parenting and working.
- Customer service experience.
- Experience as a teacher, leader, coach or mentor.
- Team player with experience working as part of a group.