Year 13 criminology students gained a better understanding of the criminal justice system in their lesson this week, as they were joined by a prison officer for a remote Teams lesson. Neil, who works at a category B facility, told the class about his role and what he has experienced over the past three years of his career. They learned about elements of the recruitment process and opportunities for promotion. They asked questions about the most challenging aspects of the job and were interested to consider how budget, mental health and drugs impacted the sector.

This was an excellent opportunity for the students who are studying towards their WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology. The talk has particular relevance as the students have moved onto their final unit, crime and punishment. In this unit they learn about how the law is made by Parliament and by the decisions of judges.

They then go on to examine how the criminal justice system is organised to uphold the law and punish those who break it. This involves looking at how agencies such as the police, prisons and probation service fit together. We consider various aims of punishment and whether the types of punishment such as imprisonment actually meet these aims.

The information that Neil provided really helped the students to consider how effectively prison meets aims such as retribution and reformation.

“I was interested to hear that the pandemic had really effected the inmates. Prisoners only spend about an hour and a half out of their cells and prisoners have to conduct their visits via Teams.” (Jessica G)

“It was great to hear about women who had reached the position of governor and that there are lots of opportunities for promotion in the prison service.”
(Nicol S)

The class were pleased to have made this link and are now inspired to contact more personnel who work in the criminal justice system.