Behind the walls of Victoria’s prisons – what life is really like for the people who work there

Prison Officer Eric shares his story.

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in prison?

Most people have a very particular idea – high walls, long and dark corridors and heavy security. The reality is that working in a prison is so much more.

United by a desire to protect the public and change lives for the better, Victoria’s prison officers are as diverse as the communities they serve.

From tradies and teachers to healthcare workers and retail staff – it’s a career that attracts people from all walks of life, but few know what the role of a prison officer actually entails.

Prison Officer Eric shares his story.

“Communication is everything,” says Eric, a Prison Officer at Metropolitan Remand Centre.

“Before becoming a prison officer, I thought it would be a physically challenging job. Now I know one of the most important tools we have is our voice.”

Born and raised in China, Eric travelled the world as an international tour guide and visited more than 40 countries including Serbia, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, Egypt and Russia.

“After traveling extensively, I thought I had seen all the world has to offer, but being a prison officer is the job I never knew I wanted,” Eric said. “I started a family and needed more stable work and it seemed like a good opportunity.”

Eric was pleasantly surprised to find similarities between being a tour guide and his role as a prison officer.

“The thing I loved most about my job as a tour guide was caring for and working with people from all walks of life. Being a prison officer offers the same opportunity – it’s just a different group of people.”

Looking for something different? The skills you already have can help you make a positive impact as a prison officer. New prison officers are now eligible for a sign on bonus of $5000* and 41 days of paid training are provided before the first day on the job. Find out how you can be part of a team reshaping lives at:

*Conditions apply.