Become a prison officer at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre

Are you ready to make our community safer? Become a prison officer and equip women who have offended with the skills and confidence to make better choices.  

APPLICATIONS CLOSE THIS MONDAY!

  • Apply to be part of our latest all-female squad of new prison officers.
  • Join a high performing team with a rare set of skills and qualities – only some are good enough to be prison officers.
  • No corrections experience needed - a comprehensive fully paid eight-week training program will give you the skills you need before your first day on the job.
  • Learn about and apply trauma-informed practice to help women in custody change their lives for the better.
  • Women of all working and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply – great prison officers can come from anywhere.
  • Enjoy a secure ongoing, full-time job in the Victorian Public Service.
  • Earn a good base rate plus generous penalty rates for night and weekend shifts.

The Department of Justice and Community Safety is now recruiting a new squad of ongoing, full-time female prison officers to work at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.

APPLY NOW (External link)

“If you want a job where you can work with people and really look at helping them unpack those underlying issues that are resulting in them coming into custody, this is the job for you.”
– Emma Cassar, Commissioner, Corrections Victoria

IT'S IMPORTANT WORK

Prison officers do two important things to help make Victoria a safer place to live: we keep prisoners, our team and the facility secure; and we help prisoners take steps to becoming more positive members of the community once they're released.

We never stop believing that we can help people make a change for the better. The work can be confronting and difficult, and progress is often slow, but our maturity, patience, empathy, self-confidence and teamwork help us achieve the little victories that prove we're making a difference.

Prison officers are role models to the women in custody at DPFC. We forge positive working relationships with prisoners and lead them in developing:

  • self-respect and respect for others
  • appropriate and socially acceptable behaviours
  • constructive goal setting
  • ownership of their actions
  • integrity and honesty.

We also help offenders access services that will improve their lives both while in custody and once released.

TRAUMA-INFORMED PRACTICE

Most prisoners at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) have experienced significant trauma before coming into custody. Family violence, physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault and homelessness are just some of the damaging experiences women in our care have suffered. As prison officers, it is our job to provide a safe environment for these women, to understand how their pasts have influenced their actions and guide them towards a more positive pathway in the future.

If you're interested in becoming a prison officer at DPFC, you need to care about trauma-informed practice and be willing to be trained in and apply it to your work. For more about the concept, watch our video here (External link). It features DPFC's General Manager and a senior prison officer talking about why it matters so much to us.

INFORMATION SESSIONS

To gain a better understanding of the role of a prison officer, we strongly encourage you to register for one of our free information sessions. You will hear about the experiences of current prison officers directly and be able to ask any questions you have about the job.

Wednesday 2 December 2020
3pm-4pm

Please register here (External link)

Attending an information session is not compulsory, and we encourage you to apply even if you can't make it along. 

ONLY SOME OF US ARE GOOD ENOUGH

Prison officers have a special set of skills and qualities.

You need to believe that reoffending can be reduced by improving the choices prisoners make and equipping them to be positive and constructive members of the community. So, you'll need a real desire to empower people while setting boundaries.

You will need energyempathy and resilience to handle the wide variety of tasks, people and challenges you'll be presented with.

You will need to be confident in yourself but also ready to take advice and look for ways of increasing the effectiveness of your work every day.

We want prison officers who have enjoyed working with many people from different backgrounds over their lives and have a natural curiosity in people. We work with difficult women in complex and tense situations every day, so it is vital you have the ability to relate to anyone.  

“If you don't have resilience, you can't be in this job. You're going to be yelled at, you're going to get called names. But you know the prisoners are just having a bad day. You have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. – Priyanka, Prison Officer

There are some other qualities that are important too:

Strong verbal communication – sometimes we need to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation purely through our negotiation and ability to empathise with others.

Professionalism – we have integrity and maturity. We respect the importance of doing our work thoroughly, keeping our word and following procedures.

Conflict management and problem-solving skills – we encounter conflict and personal issues between prisoners regularly, so you need to be able to think on your feet and make important decisions under pressure.

Initiative, accountability and teamwork– to be one of us, you're the type of person who takes well considered actions and you're ready to be a leader when needed. We're accountable for our work and often look to raise new ideas. 

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU

“The feeling that I'm doing something good for the community and trying to make a difference in someone's life makes me happy.”
– Wayne, Prison Officer

One of the many things we love about this job is being part of a high-performing tight-knit team. We have each other's backs through and through, when times are good and when they're tough.

The job can take a toll on us physically and mentally, but we always remain part of a group committed to keeping everyone in the facility safe and helping people who have offended make better choices in the future. Knowing that we're doing valuable work every day is our greatest reward.  

There are many other benefits as well, including the ability to:

◉ Earn a base rate annual salary of $56,085 - $72,022 plus super working full time hours on a 24-hour rotating roster. Weekend and public holiday work is a frequent necessity for all full-time prison officers, so you need to be prepared to plan your life around your job.

◉ Enjoy generous penalty rates on night shifts, weekends and public holidays paid in addition to salary. These benefits can significantly increase your take home pay.

◉ Make a career change without the expensive course! You will undergo eight weeks of paid full-time training (paid at $54,322 per annum pro rata). By the end of the program, you will feel well equipped to begin your new job. You will still have so much more to learn, though, and will continue working towards Certificate III accreditation in Custodial Services Practice.

◉ Take advantage of access to secondment, higher duty and promotion opportunities regularly offered to top performing staff. Becoming a prison officer could be just the beginning of a captivating career in corrections.

“Careers opportunities are plentiful. First, you have to be a prison officer, but you can go so many different places after. There is the Emergency Response Group, the Security and Emergency Services Group, Community Corrections, head office and more.” – Kyah, Prison Officer

There are many other advantages in working for the Department of Justice and Community Safety at large, as well, including:

✔ Regular feedback and career planning– approach your work with confidence in how you're tracking, working to a professional development plan agreed on by you and your manager.

✔ Generous leave entitlements – provisions for many forms of leave; including personal, parental, carers, study, cultural, compassionate and sick leave.

Employee Assistance Program support – you are encouraged to use this short-term, confidential counselling service if you're experiencing emotional stress, relationship problems, conflict with others or personal issues.

Financial and retirement planning – chance to sit down with a counsellor, as well as attend superannuation consultations, to develop strategies to meet your financial goals for the future.

We welcome people of any gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability and cultural background. We are also a proud participant of the Victorian Government's promise to increase the number of veterans working in the public sector.

Learn more about life as a prison officer (External link)

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply

The Department of Justice and Community Safety is continually working towards increasing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander(Aboriginal) workforce. The Aboriginal Employment Team aims to attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal staff in a number of roles, including prison officers, community corrections officers and field officers. This support includes a culturally appropriate attraction and recruitment process. To learn more, click here (External link) or email aboriginal.employment@justice.vic.gov.au (External link).

Just for an example of the diverse industries we recruit from, we currently have prison officers who have come from the following jobs:

  • Retail and admin assistants
  • Wait staff / bartenders / chefs
  • Receptionists
  • Nurses and disability workers
  • Customer service officers
  • Army and Navy
  • Cleaners
  • Correctional officers
  • Teachers and childcare educators
  • Hairdressers and beauticians
  • Paramedics and medical staff.

ELIGIBILITY

  • To apply to join this prison officer squad at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, you must identify as a woman. The department has been legally granted the ability to exclusively recruit females for this campaign.
  • You must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or hold Australian permanent residency. You must also possess a current Victorian driver's license (minimum P2 category) and be willing to obtain a current first aid certificate.
  • There are certain jobs that present conflicts of interest with the work of a prison officer, including some roles in security. It is best to chat to the recruitment team at an assessment centre about any work you would wish to continue doing if appointed.
  • Successful candidates will be required to undergo pre-employment checks which may include national police checks and misconduct screening.
  • To become a prison officer, you will also need to pass a health and fitness assessment, which you can learn about here (External link). You should not apply until you are confident you can meet the benchmarks in this test.

ABOUT DAME PHYLLIS FROST CENTRE

Dame Phyllis Frost Centre is a women's prison based in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It accommodates up to 604 prisoners, including offenders in minimum, medium and maximum-security units, as well as remand prisoners.

There are several industries that operate within the prison, where offenders work for a daily wage and develop vocational skills and qualifications that can aid them in finding work when released.

One unique element of DPFC is that some prisoners who are mothers are permitted to have their infants, and children aged up to five years, stay with them in shared living units. This arrangement is granted when it is most beneficial and safe to the child and mother.

To discover more about what you will do on the job, as well as the physical requirements, please go to www.correctionsjobs.vic.gov.au/prison-officers (External link). 

APPLY NOW (External link)

Applications close at midnight, on Monday 14 December. 

Candidates will be regularly reviewed up until the closing date, so please apply as soon as possible.