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Tagged In:  Criminal Justice

We recently asked you if you had any questions that you would like answered by our panel of experts as part of a brand new ‘your questions answered’ feature. 

We are delighted to publish a few of your questions which have been answered by Junaid Dowool, Clinical Team Leader and Hiring Manager for Mental Health Services at HMP Pentonville.  

How can I get prison security clearance, so I can locum in the prison environment?

To get prison clearance, an interested candidate will need to go through the prison vetting process, which is an enhanced DBS, and this is outside of the compliance and DBS process done by recruitment agencies. It will be done by the prison’s vetting department, and is led by the Ministry of Justice. The entire process may take up to six months but could be as short as three to four weeks. So, if this is something you are interested in doing, you should speak with your consultant sooner rather than later.

Are there any nursing degrees in criminal health?

There are no specific degrees in criminal health to practice in prison / offender care pathway, however once you are an RMN or RGN, you can undertake additional training or courses to top up your nursing degree and have greater responsibilities for managing patient care in this clinical setting with particular focus on risk management / suicide prevention. For instance, some nurses take forensic nursing courses or train to become a non-medical prescriber.

We recognise that men too can be abused and have been seeking to find whether any ‘National Service Standards’ currently exist for working with men in therapeutic settings, such as prison programmes or those that are run by probation services. If so, are they available to view online?

The National Service Standards do recognise that there are vulnerable men who have been sexually or physically abused and do become abusers. Some prisons will run courses which are done either by the psychology department such as a sex offender programme or if they are released, they will participate in a community rehab programme looking at offences in relation to their risk history and vulnerability.

There is information available on the UK government website which will give a better insight into the world of rehabilitation for prisoners. 

How can employers best harness the skills and experiences of practitioners, when considering policy and operational strategy?

It would depend on each prison and how they view practitioners and utilising their skills to improve service. Currently, there is a huge commitment for suicide and self-harm prevention, so we are working to train our staff on this topic so that they are better equipped to assist. 

Managing high risky clients / patients in an effective and therapeutic manner is key to progress in Prison Environment and progress in career development.

If you have a question that you would like answered by our expert panel, please get in touch using the comments box below

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