Become a prison officer at Loddon Prison or Tarrengower Prison

Do you have confidence, initiative and resilience? Are you ready for a career change that will make a positive impact within your community? You should consider becoming a prison officer.


  • Make sure Victoria remains a safe place to live by helping offenders prepare for a positive return to the community.
  • No experience needed. Get paid to train – enjoy a comprehensive fully paid eight-week training program before your first day on the job.
  • Ongoing full-time and casual roles available.
  • People of all professional and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • Earn a good base rate or salary plus generous penalty rates for night and weekend shifts.

The Department of Justice and Community Safety is now recruiting new casual and full-time prison officers to work in the Castlemaine area. Both men’s prison Loddon Prison (Loddon) and women’s prison Tarrengower Prison (Tarrengower) are seeking new staff.

 “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


You will get a real sense of purpose out of being a prison officer. You’re doing two important things for the community: you’re keeping prisoners safe in a secure facility, and you’re helping many offenders take steps to becoming more positive contributors to our shared lives.

As part of our case management program, you will be given a caseload of prisoners and will work closely with these men or women to adopt more positive behaviours, while also helping them maintain important family and community connections. This means you must be someone who loves interacting with people from all walks of life and not be quick to judge. You must believe we’re all capable of making changes for the better, and you will be able to set a great example on how to treat others.


We encourage you to attend an information session to learn more about being a prison officer directly from a prison officer! Our recruitment team will also be available to answer any questions you may have. These sessions are currently run online via Zoom.

Tuesday 21 July 2018
3pm – 4pm

Please register here (External link)

Thursday 23 July 2018
3pm – 4pm

Please register here (External link)

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


Our officers tell us time and again that what they love most about this job is the support they feel in being part of a team. Great prison officers tend to thrive on working closely with people. There are many other benefits too, including the ability to:

◉ Earn a base rate annual salary of $55,256 - $70,958 working full time hours on a 24-hour rotating roster. Casuals earn $32.60 per hour.

◉ 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. Weekend and public holiday work is a frequent necessity for all full-time prison officers, so you need to be prepared to plan your personal life around your job. Casual officers have greater flexibility to plan their job around their personal lives.

Make a career change without the expensive course! You will undergo eight weeks of paid full-time training. By the end of the program, you will feel confident and 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.

“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

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

Transparent performance framework – 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.

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 (External link).


To thrive in this job, you will need energyempathy and resilience. We're not concerned about which gender you identify as, or if you've been a tradie, an accountant, a teacher or a retail assistant. 

However, you should possess:

Strong verbal communication – you have the ability to de-escalate a situation purely through your negotiation and verbal reasoning. You’re a ‘people person’ who has positive interactions, but you know when to set boundaries too.

Professionalism – you have integrity and maturity. You respect the importance of doing your work thoroughly.

Conflict management and problem-solving skills – you will encounter conflict and problems regularly, so you need to be able to think on your feet, adapting what you know as best practice to the scenario.

Initiative and accountability – you won't pass the buck if you know you should be contributing. You will be responsible for your actions and take opportunities to raise new ideas. 

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

  • Sales
  • Labourers
  • Managers
  • Retail and admin assistants
  • Wait staff / Bartenders
  • Healthcare and disability workers
  • Personal trainers
  • Customer service officers
  • Self-employed and small business owners
  • Army and Navy
  • Correctional officers
  • Truck drivers
  • Security guards / security officers
  • Construction workers


  • To be eligible for appointment as a prison officer in a Corrections Victoria facility, 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.


Loddon is a medium-security walled men’s prison located in Castlemaine. The landscaped grounds, modern buildings and wide range of programs and activities aim to emulate a general community setting, helping offenders to transition smoothly after completing their sentence.

Tarrengower is a minimum-security women’s prison based approximately 20 minutes north-west of Castlemaine. Offenders here are also preparing to return to the community, and typically sleep in their own rooms but share kitchen and living areas. Candidates with experience dealing with vicarious trauma may be well suited to working with these prisoners. 

Both Loddon and Tarrengower are operated by the Department of Justice and Community Safety, which is one arm of the Victorian Public Service, a recognised top employer of choice nationally (External link). All our staff work to the vision of a safe, just, innovative and thriving Victoria; and as prison officer, you will be a key player in helping us meet our goal.

To discover more about what you will do on the job, as well as the physical requirements, please go to (External link). 


Applications close at midnight, on Thursday 30 July. 

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