Working conditions

Questions for monitors

What is the salary for prison officers and how is it set? How does this compare to other comparable public services (such as the police service, nurses or teachers)?

How does the location of the prison or prison accommodation affect the lives of prison officers and their families (access to facilities, social opportunities etc)?

What is the benefits package for prison officers? Does this include subsidies for living costs and services (if necessary given location etc)?

Are prison officers subject to transfer? If so how are transfers decided upon and does this take into account the situation of the officer and their family at the time?

What do prison officers perceive as the best/most difficult aspects of their work?

What is the staff/prisoner ratio in the prison?

Is the prison overcrowded? How does this affect prison officers’ ability to carry out their tasks and develop positive relationships with prisoners?

What are the working hours for prison officers? Do they work in shifts? Are prison officers required to do overtime? Are they remunerated for it?

What are the physical working conditions of prison officers?

Does the prison have a staff welfare policy? Are there support services available for prison officers, including counselling to help them deal with challenges at work? Do prison officers feel able to make use of these?

Are prison officers unionised? What is the influence of the union on working conditions, industrial relations and the working atmosphere in prisons?

Are there indications of a punitive ‘esprit de corps’? Have prison officers felt pressure from colleagues to act a certain way towards prisoners?

Have prison officers experienced discrimination or abuse at work?

Are women prison officers given the same roles, opportunities and salary/benefits as men prison officers?

women
foreigners
disabilities
minorities
children

Are regulations, policies and mechanisms in place to prevent and address discriminatory practices? Do officers have confidence in these?