For me, freedom whilst working in a prison means I can make choices: choices on how I work and when I work, what sort of person I want to be whilst wearing a uniform and having to conform to a set of rules and regulations. Those who work in prisons are at risk of becoming institutionalised themselves.
Those who are in our care in prisons should be treated as individuals, so for myself, freedom allows me to treat those in our care this way, as being a ‘prisoner’ is not a universal fit. Each person in custody brings their own issues and back story; the opportunity to have the flexibility and freedom to manage and support these people with their individual needs. Freedom also allows me to become the positive role model I want to be, for both staff and those in our care.
John McCrae is Custodial Manager at HMP Onley.
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