Prison guard is a prison officer whose main duty is to ensure the supervision of prisoners. A prison guard ensures that prisoners are where they are supposed to be and that all activities (wake-up, roll-call, times for meals, etc.) take place according to the daily routine. Prison guards also monitor the behavior of prisoners and inform prison administration of each violation or other unusual situations in their area. There are also prison guards who work at the prison entrance, guard the prison barrier, handle prisoner escort, and arrange visitations to prison. The senior prison guard performs guard duty and supervises other guards. Most senior prison guards supervise a maximum of ten guards.
Contact persons are prison officers with whom prisoners come into most frequent contact during their term of imprisonment. Each prisoner is assigned a contact person that resolves issues the prisoner might have or arranges for the issue to be solved in cooperation with other prison staff.
A contact person’s task is to direct the prisoner towards law-abiding behavior. To that end, the contact person uses certain particular methods to ascertain risks based on the prisoner’s life and activity thus far and, based on above, decides what the prisoner should be engaged in during their imprisonment (e.g. participating in a social program, obtaining education etc.). The contact person’s tasks also involve monitoring of the performance of planned activities and motivating the prisoner to take part in activities. The contact person also arranges other social welfare-related assistance to the prisoner.
Within the framework of the release on parole procedure, the contact person assesses the prisoner’s risks and based on this prepares an assessment which, along with other materials pertaining to the prisoner, is sent to court where the prisoner’s release on parole is decided.
If a prisoner commits a disciplinary offence, the contact person arranges for an investigation, decides on a sanction, and executes the necessary documents.
The Probation officer’s principal task is to implement the penalty imposed on a probationer by the court or the prosecutor’s office. If requested by a prosecutor or court, the probation supervisor also prepares the pre-trial report. The report consists of a description of the accused person’s social circumstances and assesses the probability of perpetrating a new criminal offence. Upon preparation for release on parole, the probation supervisor submits to the prison information pertaining to the prisoner’s ability to cope in everyday life.
A person is placed under the supervision of the probation officer in the following cases:
- They serve a conditional sentence and are subjected to supervision of conduct;
- They have been released on parole;
- The criminal proceeding has been terminated and they are obligated to engage in community service;
- The court substituted imprisonment with community service and supervision of conduct;
- The court imposed supervision of conduct after serving their sentence;
- The criminal proceedings of a minor have been terminated and supervision of conduct has been imposed on them as a sanction.
The probation officer also arranges electronic surveillance for:
- Persons who have been released on parole and subjected to electronic surveillance;
- Persons whose short-term imprisonment has been substituted with electronic surveillance;
- Persons for whom being in custody has been substituted with electronic surveillance.
The probation officer monitors compliance by the probationer with supervisory requirements and additional obligations prescribed by the court, advising and assisting the probationer in performance of the above obligations. In addition, the probation officer arranges for activities based on the probationer’s punishment and risks. For example, the probation officer prepares social programs and carries them out in groups and individually.
A duty officer is the head of everyday surveillance in prisons. The duty officer organizes the work of all prison guards working in the same shift as them. Outside of normal working hours, the duty officer is the highest ranking officer in prison.
The duty officer ensures adherence to the daily routine. It is the duty officer’s job to make sure that important activities in the daily routine such as wake-up, lights-out, roll-call, meal times, walks, studies, and work take place in the right place at the right time.
In addition, the duty officer handles all kinds of extraordinary events. If an event occurs in prison which should be urgently resolved by several officers, the duty officer is informed thereof who then manages the resolution of the situation. In the case of a more complex event, the duty officer manages the resolution of the situation until the director of prison or another higher ranking officer takes over the resolution of the situation from the duty officer.
Information and investigation unit officers conduct, as per their specialization, criminal proceedings or misdemeanor proceedings, including implementation within the framework of their competence of surveillance activities, and arrange for agency work in prison. The information and investigation unit officers assess the dangerousness of prisoners proceeding from documents and databases related to prison security, prepare analyses and make proposals to units regarding the placement of prisoners.
The placement of prisoners in prison constitutes an extremely responsible and important task as a multitude of factors must be considered: whether or not the punishment is the prisoner’s first, for which criminal offence the prisoner was sentenced, whether or not the prisoner had any drug related issues outside of prison, whether or not the prisoner smokes, what the prisoner’s health status is, whether or not the prisoner is violent and tends to be aggressive, i.e. how dangerous the prisoner is to other prisoners, and prison security. In addition, it must be considered in the case of repeatedly sentenced prisoners that they cannot be placed in the same cell as a prisoner with whom they have previously had disagreements with or with whom they had issues outside of prison. The role of information and investigation unit officers is to obtain all of this information and make decisions based thereon.