Key Elements

Recruitment processes play a key role in ensuring prisons have staff with the required skills, knowledge and attitude to perform their role with respect for the dignity and human rights of detainees. Prison systems therefore need an active recruitment policy, which has a clear idea of the kind of people they wish to recruit, sets out the nature of the work to attract the right candidates, and has criteria and procedures for selection, which include the appropriate character, skills and qualifications as well as considerations of diversity.

A number of international and regional standards provide that prison staff shall be carefully selected, with great emphasis on the need for professional capacity, integrity, humanity, and personal suitability for the complex work that they will be required to do. Recruiting the right staff not only means they will be well-equipped to carry out the job, it also increases the likelihood that they will gain satisfaction from their work and remain motivated and committed. This section focuses on the recruitment of prison officers, who carry out the operational task of running prisons on a day to day basis and have direct contact with detainees.