Irish Prison Service recruiting for Prison Officers

The Irish Prison Service is responsible for the provision of safe, secure and humane custody for those people committed to prison by the Courts.

The Service is a key component in our country’s criminal justice system ensuring safer community life and employs approximately 3,200 personnel, providing safe and secure custody, dignity of care and rehabilitation to prisoners for safer communities.

Political responsibility for the Prison System in Ireland is vested in the Minister for Justice and Equality. The Irish Prison Service operates as an executive agency within the Department of Justice and Equality. It is headed by a Director General supported by a number of Directors.

A prison is not a usual environment for any human being. It is a complex and dynamic environment which has the potential to be stressful for both prisoners and for staff. The normalisation of the prison environment is largely dependent on effective management and on the development of appropriate relationships by our prison staff with our prisoners.

Prisons operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Prison Officers are the frontline staff who interact most with prisoners on a daily basis and as a result, have the potential to positively influence prisoners to engage in training, education, psychology and community inreach services within the prison system.

Knowledge of the legal framework which governs the management of prisoners and skills such as searching and restraint techniques are important competencies for prison staff, however, the most important aspects of operating as an effective Prison Officer is the capacity to relate to and engage with prisoners, act with professionalism, tolerance and humanity and the ability to role model positive social behaviour. Such traits stem from life experience and personal values.

What is the role of a Prison Officer?

A Prison Officers conduct the majority of the face to face interactions with people committed to prison throughout their sentence including transportation from court; committal; safety; security; accommodation; supporting access to healthcare, psychology, in reach services, work training, education and visits by family friends and legal representatives; maintaining good order and discipline; and supporting their care, progression, desistence and rehabilitation in order that they can safely reintegrate back into their communities on completion of their sentence.

Given that prisoners spend the majority of their sentence in the presence of Prison Officers, building appropriate relationships with prisoners and actively role modelling positive behaviours in general appearance, demeanor and in daily interactions with colleagues and prisoners are fundamental aspect of role.

Prison Officers must secure and account for every prisoner in their care at all times, whether inside the prison or when on prisoner escorts. An overview of the wide variety of accountabilities associated with the role of Prison Officer, both within a prison context and across the wider organisation are outlined in the headlines below, all of which are expanded within the official application process.

  1. a) Ensure the safe and secure custody of prisoners:
  2. b) Contribute to the care, progression, desistence and rehabilitation of prisoners
  3. c) Be prepared to conduct a broad range of additional tasks:

Irish Prison Service College

Closing Date: On or before 9th January 2020

Be at least 18 years of age i.e. must have been born on or before 9th January 2002;

Educational Qualifications:
Applicants must have achieved: (i) in the Established Leaving Certificate a minimum of grade D3 (O6 from 2017 onwards) at Ordinary level, or C3 (F5 from 2017) at Foundation Level, in at least 5 subjects*; or (ii) a Merit in the Leaving Certificate Applied programme; or a minimum of a Level 5 Major award (120 credits) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ); or a recognised relevant qualification (minimum Level 5 on the NFQ), which in the opinion of the Public Appointments Service is acceptable in terms of standard, level and volume of learning. *A Pass or above in the Links Modules subject may be counted as one subject ** A Fetac Level 5 or 6 major award will have 120 Credits

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