Meet Justin… Our Hidden Hero

The 29th of September 2021 marks #HiddenHeroesDay, where we celebrate and thank the often, unsung ‘Hidden Heroes’ across the custodial and community justice estate, who work tirelessly, especially during the covid-19 outbreak.  It’s an opportunity to show them that, while they may be largely hidden from public view, they’re not forgotten, and that the people who know them best, truly appreciate all they’ve done, and continue to do.

Despite their huge contribution and incredible efforts in supporting those within our justice system, Prison Officers, Probation Officers and Staff often go unnoticed, so to recognise the amazing work they have done and continue to do, we wanted to put in some of these amazing people in the spotlight.

Justin, who works as a Prison Officer, is a Hidden Hero. We’ve asked Justin a couple of questions about working for the Prison and Probation service:

Why did you become a Prison Officer?

Initially answered the advert as a way to get out working in a pub. As the years have passed I have found that being a prison officer, though at times can be stressful, can be rewarding and humbling.

Do you recall your first days in the role? What were your initial thoughts?

Initially I remember being overwhelmed and like a rabbit caught in headlights, but also proud that I’d been successful and qualified to be an officer.

What is the best thing about being a Prison Officer?

The camaraderie even with other establishments. Each time I’ve worked on detached duty we’ve always been accepted and respected and valued which is priceless.

If in any way, how would you say your experiences in your role have changed you?

It’s had both positive and negative affects over the years. It’s supported me in my time of need and encouraged me to be more confident, however it has also worn away at my resilience.

Tell us about your proudest moment during your role?

There isn’t one pound moment that stands out above the rest, however there is a certain comfort when the prisoners you have had a personal interaction with stay out of prison after release.

What would you tell someone who was thinking about a role within the sector?

It’s a great job, there are up days and down days but you’ll never meet a more close nit group of colleagues who will support you and lift you up when you’re struggling.

Show your support

To pay tribute to those hidden heroes working within prisons, probation and youth justice services across the, you can donate money to Mental Health UK.  With around one in four people experiencing significant mental health problems in their lifetime, the hidden heroes working within prisons, probation and youth services are coming together to raise money for this chosen charity https://mentalhealth-uk.org/donate.

Additionally, if you work in the sector, or would like to support those that do, you can take part in a #HiddenHeroes Charity Challenge!  Find out how here: https://www.hiddenheroes.uk/CharityChallenge.

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