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General introduction of offices

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Prison guard is a prison officer whose main duty is to ensure supervision of prisoners. A prison guard shall ensure that prisoners be at a prescribed place and that all activities (wake-up, roll-call, times for meals, etc.) take place according to the daily routine. Prison guards shall also monitor the behaviour of prisoners and inform the administration of prison of each violation or other unusual situations in their area. There are also prison guards who work at the prison entrance, guard the border of prison, organise the escort of prisoners and visitations to prison. The senior prison guard performs the tasks of a prison guards and supervises other prison guards. Usually, there are up to ten prison guards working under a senior prison guard.

Contact person is a prison officer who has the most interaction with a prisoner. To each prisoner a contact person has been assigned who solves problems of the prisoner or organises their solution with other prison officers.

A contact person shall guide a prisoner to law-abiding behaviour. For that purpose, a contact person shall, by way of a specific method, assess the risks based on his/her life and actions so far and decide as a result what the prisoner should engage in during his/her imprisonment (e.g. participate in a social programme, acquire education, etc.). Also, a contact person shall monitor the performance of planned activities and motivate a prisoner to engage in them. A contact person arranges for other necessary social welfare related help for a prisoner.

In the procedure of release on parole, a contact person shall assess the risks of the prisoner and shall prepare an assessment which shall be forwarded to the court with other materials concerning the prisoner. The court shall decide the release of the prisoner on parole.

Should a prisoner commit a disciplinary offence, a contact person shall arrange for an investigation, decide the sanction and prepare the necessary documents.

The main task of a probation officer is to implement the penalty imposed on a probationer by the court or the prosecutor’s office. Also, the probation officer shall, at court’s request, prepare a pre-trial report. This is a description of the social circumstances of the accused and it evaluates the probability of committing another crime. Upon preparation for release on parole, a probation officer shall present the prison with data on the prisoner’s ability to cope in everyday life.

A person shall be placed under the supervision of the probation officer in the following cases:

  • he/she serves a conditional sentence and is subjected to supervision of conduct;
  • he/she has been released on parole;
  • the criminal proceeding has been terminated and the person shall do community service;
  • the court has substituted imprisonment with community service and supervision of conduct;
  • the court has imposed supervision of conduct after serving the punishment;
  • the criminal proceeding of a minor has been terminated and supervision of conduct has been imposed on him/her as a sanction.

The probation officer also arranges for electronic surveillance for:

  • persons who have been released on parole and imposed electronic surveillance;
  • persons whose short-term imprisonment has been substituted with electronic surveillance;
  • persons for whom taking in custody has been substituted with electronic surveillance.

A probation officer shall monitor the compliance with supervisory requirements and additional requirements set by court by counselling and helping a probationer upon performing his/her obligations. The probation officer also arranges for activities based on the punishment and risks of the probationer. For example, he/she prepares for social programmes and carries them out in groups and individually.

A duty officer is the head of everyday surveillance in prison. He/she organises the work of all prison guards working in the same shift as him/her. Outside of working hours, a duty officer is the highest official in prison.

A duty officer shall ensure the adherence to daily routine. It is his/her job to see that important activities in the daily routine such as wake-up, time of retiring, roll-call, times of meals, walks, studying and working would take place in the right place at the right time.

Moreover, a duty officer deals with all kinds of extraordinary events. If an event occurs in prison which should be urgently resolved by several officers, the duty officer shall be informed who shall manage the resolution of the situation. In case of a more complicated event, a duty officer shall manage the resolution of the situation as long as the director of prison or another higher official takes over the resolution of situation from the duty officer.

According to the line of work a security employee conducts criminal proceedings or surveillance proceedings, including the agency work in prison, as well as disciplinary proceedings. Security employee assesses the dangerousness of prisoners, administers other documents and databases related to the security of the prison, prepares analyses and carries out the placement of prisoners.

The placement of prisoners in the prison is a very responsible and important task, as very many factors have to be taken into consideration: whether this is the first punishment or not, for which crime the prisoner was punished, whether the prisoner had any problems with drugs outside prison, whether the person smokes, what the person’s health status is, whether the person is violent and has inclination to aggression, in other words, how dangerous the person is for other prisoners and for the security of the prison. In addition, it has to be taken into consideration in case of repeatedly punished prisoners that the prisoner cannot be placed into the same cell together with a prisoner with whom he/she has previously had rows or with whom he/she has had any problems outside prison. The role of a security employee is to obtain all this information and make decisions based on it.