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The POA has been representing Prison Officers since 1939 and throughout that period it has seen the role of prison service employees evolve from a turn key to that of a custodial officer responsible for assisting with the process of rehabilitation of offenders.The introduction of private sector prisons has done little to support the criminal justice system.Officers have to deal with the effects of self inflicted injuries, deaths and violence amongst the prisoners themselves and against staff; 12. Officers have to deal with being stigmatised and institutionalised; 14.Officers have to manage offenders with serious mental health issues; 15.
It is no good sending someone to prison with drug and alcohol problems for example and then sending them back to society unless we have addressed those underlying factors and put in place support mechanisms for their release.
Officers have to prosecute offenders if they breach prison rules and defend their actions in front of an independent body. Prison Officers are required to work with other agencies in a multi disciplinary approach to address offending behaviour and should not just be seen as a guard or security officer.