A day in the life of a Prisoner Escort Officer (Inter Prison Transfers).
A day in the life of a Prisoner Escort Officer (PEO) starts whenever and wherever a route is scheduled to go out. When we arrive at the base, we are briefed by the Senior Escort Officer (SEO) and get our instructions for the day. We then collect our paperwork, ensuring that it is correct and identifies vital information such as the prisons that we’re due to visit along with our arrival and departure times.
The next task is to carry out vehicle checks, making sure that the vehicle is roadworthy, conducting cell searches and making sure that we have everything needed for the journey. Our routes are planned by the team at the Operational Control Centre (OCC). They make sure that we know where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. Efficiency and punctuality are essential in this job to avoid any delays.
Upon arrival at the first prison, either myself or my colleague will book in at the gate house. The prison staff will then undertake their required checks which may involve searching our vehicle before allowing us entry to their establishment.
Once inside the prison, we then go to prisoner reception where we check all paperwork and confirm that the prisoner is fit for transfer. We also check the prisoner’s property, ensuring that it is placed in the appropriate property bag and that all serial numbers are correct. It is then placed in the purpose-built property cupboard inside the vehicle.
Although each prisoner will have already been fully searched by prison staff, we also carry out a further search and then escort them to the vehicle one by one, where they are secured in individual cells.
Our route for the day may require us to visit between two and five different prisons depending on the schedule. Once we have transferred all the prisoners, we return to the base where we ensure that the vehicle is clean, refuelled and fully operational for the next day, before handing in our paperwork to the SEO and confirming our return with the OCC.
Professional, calm and unflappable. This job goes from routine to moments of intense concentration, instant decisions and action in seconds so expect the unexpected at all times. We always have to be observant and aware as well as confident when talking to prisoners too. But the most important thing is to be non-judgmental and treat everyone as you would like to be treated yourself.
“We always have to be observant and aware as well as
confident when talking to the prisoners.”
Prisoner Escort Officer
Prisoner Escort Officer | About the job
No two days are the same for a Prisoner Escort Officer (PEO). You’ll come into contact with people from all walks of life on a daily basis as well as liaising with G4S colleagues at the base along with a wide variety of other people including prison officers, security personnel and prisoners.
Are you the person we’re looking for?
Being a PEO isn’t always plain sailing. It requires determination, motivation, initiative, adaptability and flexibility. You’ll be dealing with a wide variety of people as well as following processes and procedures in line with training and regulations, so the ability to follow instructions is essential.
We need people from a broad range of backgrounds with life experience who are good at listening to others, vigilant, non-judgmental and able to remain calm and in control under pressure. As part of our team of PEOs you’ll face many challenges so you’ll need to be able to think on your feet and use your initiative.
What will I be doing?
- Driving secure vehicles to and from prisons and other custodial establishments
- Maintaining security and taking appropriate action to prevent escapes
- Searching prisoners and accompanying them in handcuffs
- Dealing with vulnerable and difficult prisoners in a calm and professional manner to reduce risks to safety and security
- Preparing documentation and ensuring that all paperwork is accurate and current
- Liaising with the Operational Control Centre, other G4S colleagues and prison service staff
- Ensuring the cleanliness and basic maintenance of the vehicle including checking oil, water, tyres and fuel
Frequently asked questions
What are the working hours?
Hours are based on a variable shift pattern which covers Monday to Friday and also Saturdays.
What time will I start work?
Any time between 6.00am and 10.00am, depending on the route and number of prisoners to be transferred. You will be notified of your start time the day before, so flexibility is vital.
Will I be working with the same people all the time?
PEOs at bases work as part of a team. You will also work closely with other G4S colleagues and external agencies such as prison officers, security personnel and members of the emergency services.
Do I need previous experience in this type of work?
No. We welcome people from all backgrounds with life experience. Your positive attitude, motivation and
non-judgmental disciplined approach are essential to succeed.
What training will I receive?
In order to become a PEO, you’ll attend our comprehensive Home Office approved Initial Training Course (ITC) which covers skills such as communication, security, first aid and control and restraint. The ITC is followed by shadow training where you will be paired with an experienced PEO in order to gain practical experience in all aspects of the job.
What vehicle will I have to drive?
Prisoner movements are undertaken in specially designed cellular vehicles which can accommodate up to 12 prisoners depending on the vehicle used.
What are the benefits of working for G4S?
We invest heavily in our people and offer benefits that you would expect from a large quality organisation including generous holiday entitlement, life assurance, company pension, sick pay scheme, comprehensive training, career development and a uniform.