Female prison worker talks abut her job ahead of International Women’s Day

Juliet Pink, 53, joined HMP Bullingdon as an operational support grade (OSG) in 2020 before climbing the ranks to become a production line workshop operator within two years.

She’s now urging more women to consider joining the prison service.

Oxford Mail: HMP BullingdonHMP Bullingdon (Image: NQ)

She said: “I worked in prisons for some time in different roles but joined as an operational support grade in 2020.

“It’s a fantastic job to start out in the prison service as you can come in at any level or work in an admin-focused role.

“Being an operational support grade gives everyone a good insight into working in a prison without being at the forefront with prisoners, so you can get a really good grounding.”

She added: “All of our OSGs are invaluable – they work in reception, CCTV, searching, patrolling or dealing with correspondence.

“A lot of elements of the job are crucial- the prison wouldn’t be able to function without OSGs.”

A mum to four children, Ms Pink now manages a production line assembling nearly 30,000 breakfast packs weekly for prisoners at HMP Bullingdon and other institutions.

Her newest role has enabled her to work closer with inmates and assist in reducing their risk of reoffending

She said: “Some of our prisoners may never have worked before so my aim is to make everyone as productive as possible and challenge their way of thinking when it comes to work.

“Being an OSG was a fantastic job.

“There are so many misconceptions about what those who work in a prison look like and what the job entails.

“There’s much more to the role and starting as an OSG is a great stepping stone into the prison service.

“I’m incredibly proud to work with a number of female staff and prison officers who are all brilliant at what they do.”

Women now make up more than half of prison service staff, bucking the long-held belief that it is a male-dominated profession.

She continued: “Women might think working in a prison isn’t for them but if you’re empathetic and a good listener, you’d be a great fit plus you receive all the right training you need to keep yourself, your colleagues and the prisoners safe.”

People do not need to have qualifications to join the prison service in a support staff role.

HMPPS invites individuals who are “compassionate, creative people with excellent communication skills who can make decisions effectively” to apply.

For those interested in joining the prison service, OPS roles at HMP Bullingdon are now open.

To apply, or for more information, visit the government’s prison and probation service website.

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