chapter  23
20 Pages

The experience of prison officer training

ByHelen Arnold

The chapter focuses on the way in which the process of ‘becoming’ a prison officer begins and the early stages of occupational socialisation. Starting with a short overview of relevant literature, there follows an outline of the structure and content of the prison officer training course, as it was in 2002 when I completed it.2 Some general evaluations of the training and several interrelated thematic findings regarding the process of being trained as an officer during the initial residential training periods are then presented. These findings are based on data obtained from: self-completion

questionnaires administered to trainee officers during the training course and follow-up interviews conducted six months after course completion; focus group discussions with trainee officers; informal discussions with the cohort during training; and the daily fieldwork research journal I maintained throughout the training period.