Suffolk jails to recruit 52 staff to support prison officers

PUBLISHED: 15:20 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:46 18 February 2019

Highpoint Prison in Stradishall. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Highpoint Prison in Stradishall. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY


Jails across Suffolk are on the look out for dozens of workers to support the day-to-day running of the county's three prisons, including monitoring security.

HMP Hollesley Bay. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYHMP Hollesley Bay. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

HMPs Highpoint, Warren Hill and Hollesley Bay have 52 vacancies between them for operational support grades (OSGs), who help with daily activities such as conducting thorough security checks, managing deliveries and monitoring phonecalls and CCTV.

The OSGs have limited contact with offenders so are different from prison officers - but the role is said to be crucial to keeping the prisons safe and secure at all times.

Annabel Bliss, a current OSG at HMP Highpoint, said the role makes her feel valued because she can make a “genuine positive contribution to society”.

She said: “With the numerous duties included in the OSG role, every day is different.

HMP Warren Hill. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYHMP Warren Hill. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

“Some days are more challenging than others, but this keeps the role both interesting and exciting.”

OSGs will work both shifts and nights to support prison officers. The role benefits from an unsocial working hours allowance.

No formal qualifications are needed to become an OSG, but recruiters say helping to keep the prison running smoothly requires good judgement, common sense, responsibility and, above all, teamwork.

OSGs also have the automatic opportunity to a paid Level Two apprenticeship in customer service, which is equivalent to five to five GCSEs at grade A* to C grades.

The apprenticeship is taught over 14 months.

Highpoint, at Stradishall near Newmarket, is a Category C men’s prison catering for about 1,300 prisoners.

Warren Hill now holds indeterminate sentenced Category C male prisoners but used to hold Category C young offenders. Its operational capacity is 258.

Hollesley Bay can hold up to 481 adult men from 18 years old.

For more information about the vacancies or to apply, visit this website.

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