Become a prison officer at Barwon Prison

If you are ready for a career change that will make a positive impact on your community, consider becoming a prison officer.

  • Help Victoria remain a safe place to live by keeping our prisons secure and assisting offenders to develop better relationships and improve their actions.
  • No experience required. Get paid to train – enjoy a comprehensive fully paid eight-week training program before your first day on the job.
  • People of all professional and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  • 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 casual prison officers for Barwon Prison to start in October.

Apply Now (External link)


“If you're showing potential, the Department is always keen to push you in new directions.”
– Wayne, Prison Officer

Even with lockdown lifting, it's still a tough time for many. You might be taking this opportunity to consider a change in your career direction so if you've only ever worked in one industry, you may not be doing yourself justice. You will have developed a ton of skills over your professional and personal life that could be applied to a Prison Officer role.

Great prison officers can come from anywhere. And although there's no experience necessary for this role, good organisation, teamwork and communication skills, the kind often gained working in industries like Customer Service, Trades, Healthcare and Retail, are crucial as a prison officer. That's why we want to hear from you if you're open to a new career.


To gain a better understanding of the role, we strongly encourage you to register for our online information session. You'll hear about the experiences of current prison officers and be able to ask questions about the job. See details below:

Wednesday 15 July 2020
6:00pm – 7:00pm

Register for info session (External link)


Great prison officers tend to thrive on working closely with all kinds of people, and our staff tell us they love coming to work and feeling part of a real team with a common goal. 

There are many other benefits too, including the ability to:

◉ Earn a base rate of $32.60 per hour plus super

◉ Enjoy generous penalty rates on night shifts, weekends and public holidays paid in addition to salary. Weekend work is a frequent necessity for all prison officers, so you need to be prepared to plan your life around your work.

◉ Undergo eight weeks of paid full-time training to be completed in one continuous block. By the end of the program, you will feel confident and well equipped to begin your new job.

There are many other advantages in working for the Department of Justice and Community Safety, 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, money troubles or personal issues.


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, a personal trainer, a teacher or a retail assistant. We want prison officers with life experience – people who can find common ground with anyone. 

You should also possess:

◉ Strong verbal communication – you have the ability to de-escalate a situation purely through your negotiation and verbal reasoning.

◉ 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've learned to be best practice to the scenario.

◉ Initiative and accountability – you won't pass the buck if you know you should be contributing. You'll 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:

  • Tradies
  • Hospitality and retail workers
  • Customer Service
  • Case workers
  • Personal trainers
  • Healthcare and medical
  • Army and Navy
  • Correctional officers
  • Truck drivers
  • Security guards/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 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.


Barwon Prison is a maximum security men's prison based in Lara, in the Barwon South West region of Victoria. It is 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. All of our staff work to the vision of a safe, just, innovative and thriving Victoria. As a prison officer, you will be a key player in helping us meet this goal.

Prison officers work on a rotating shift roster, which operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. While some shifts can be swapped, staff must be prepared to work some weekends and public holidays.

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

The Department of Justice and Community Safety is continually working towards increasing ourAboriginal 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 discover more about what you'll do on the job, as well as the physical requirements, please go to (External link)

Applications close at midnight, on Thursday 23 July 2020. 

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

Apply Now (External link)