University helps students pursue career in new multi-million pound super-prison
Students have been encouraged to target a job at a new £250million super-prison in North Wales.
The HMP Berwyn complex in Wrexham, which is due to open next year housing 2,000 inmates, will create up to 1,000 jobs in the region.
Project manager Mark Greenhaf was among the speakers at Wrexham Glyndwr University’s prestigious Criminology and Criminal Justice Careers conference, and spoke to those in attendance about what its core values will be as a rehabilitative prison.
He also encouraged students to apply for a role there, and said: “The Prime Minister recently spoke on prisons and said 46% of prisoners reoffend within a year, costing up to £13 billion a year.
“Berwyn aims to be a rehabilitative prison, offering safety and decency as well as the opportunity to learn. It’s vital the staff also have these values to help build a positive relationship to help prevent prisoners reoffending.
“It will offer an opportunity for prisoners to work while they are serving their sentence, so they have a purpose on a day-to-day basis, such as working in the laundry room, library and kitchens to offer them work ready skills as well as thinking and social skills.”
Authorities expect the prison to provide an annual £23million boost to the economy once fully operational by the end of 2017.
Mark added: “Our overarching message is for our prison to be rehabilitative, which we hope will create better people leaving our prison and provide them with the opportunity to learn, to embrace the Welsh culture and the right values.”
He explained that the application process to students will take 21 weeks overall and those hired will take part in 10-week training course provided locally on the site.
Also attending the criminal justice careers event was probation officer Natalie Howson.
She said: “Probation work is demanding but very rewarding and requires resilience and professional judgment.
“People looking at a career in probation are fortunate right now as we are looking to recruit.
“I feel like I have made a difference either a difference to someone’s life or by protecting members of the public.”
Neal Parkes, prevention coordinator for North Wales Police, also spoke at the conference about what students need to do before entering the sector, and what to expect if they get there.
He said: “There will definitely be difficult situations that can come in all shapes and sizes.”
Neal also explained that he joined the Force to “make a difference”, adding: “I wanted to work with people who really care about what they do and make a difference in my community.”
For more information on Criminology and Criminal Justice at Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit http://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/