emplyoment in HM prison service

apologies if this has been posted before but i couldn't find it

does anyone what HM prison service are like in regards to prison officers being in the TA, i am applying to be a prison officer and was wondering what their stance on the subject is.

I have Prison Warders in my Bty, so I can't see it being a problem.

Theres no problem have had staff go off on tour. :D


Book Reviewer
Depends on the Governor. The Prison Service rules are clear that uniformed HMP staff are not allowed to serve in the TA - but many enlightened Governors do allow it. Ask subtly and you'll find out. If there are others already serving in a particular prison you are probably alright.
Several bods (both Rocks and FP) on my Squadron (RAuxAF) are serving prison warders. Some have been deployed and so I don't think it can be much of an issue.

We've also got serving coppers (hobby-cops and real ones), a traffic warden and a couple of nurses. It seems to be up to your civvy gaffer, but it seems that there's not such a big deal with 'uniformed' professions in the Reserve forces these days.


It used to be in the Prison Service Staff Handbook that Prison Officers were not allowed to join the TA, but enlightened governors often turned a blind eye (especially as they knew so many of their staff had secondary employment!). When I was a screw I was not allowed to deploy on ops but they gave me extra leave to complete my camp. Later they took away the extra leave & issued a directive to all staff to leave the TA or face disciplinary charges. I left before anything was implemented so cannot say if they followed the directive through.

I believe the gubmint changed the rules so that people can now be in the TA as well as serving in the prison service. I would be very careful about how & when you asked as integrity, whilst expected of all Prison Staff, can not always be be relied upon especially when applied to junior governors. Ring the admin dept & ask rather than leaving it to the interview.
I know a serving TA Major, who was a serving SO at a certain gaol. Most Governors would welcome the additional skills the Army bring. Just don't expect too much support where leave is concerned. Build up your TOIL and use it, I know you should not exceed 20 hours but I have been over 85 hours up before now!! Do It!!
There seems to have been a bit of a sh*tstorm over this just lately. I don't really know why, but I suspect that the Staff Handbook and some jobsworth in a Shared Services centre are to blame.

I have spoken to SABRE about it and they inform me that it is on their "to do" list. I have deployed twice in the last four years, totalling about 27 months away, but my prison (and Governor) have been superb.

The paragraph from the Handbook states that we are no longer a reserved occupation, but operational staff cannot serve in the TA due to their liability for mobilisation in an "emergency". Despite this there are many examples of staff being allowed to continue serving, join and mobilise. So it is inconsistent acrss the estate.

My suggestion is that we have some form of quota, as the police do. I find it unfair that staff can have up to five years for a career break, but some penpusher has a heart attack if they want to join the TA. I think the relevant paragraph needs to be amended or withdrawn and a fairer system introduced. I daresay if you were to look at the general quality of staff who serve in the TA would be above that of any other comparable group of staff.

Suffice to say not much in the way of Prison Service Principles being shown to staff who choose to serve in the TA.

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