What is Unlocked?

Unlocked Graduates is aiming to change the way we develop society’s future leaders, as well as how we think about prisons and prisoners by focusing on rehabilitation, and addressing the terrible damage and cost of reoffending.

Unlocked is a unique two-year leadership development programme aimed at training graduates to become inspirational and supportive leaders. Serving as a prison officer, you’ll build these skills through a bespoke training programme, alongside working with prisoners to identify and implement actions and strategies that will help them break the cycle of reoffending.

Unlocked is a charity, established with the explicit aim of attracting high-calibre graduate talent to work in the UK prison service and inject new ideas, insights and energy into the rehabilitation of prisons: to lead subtle changes on the inside that deliver huge benefits on the outside.

After its two-year programme of accelerated leadership development, Unlocked expects alumni to use what they have learnt to progress into other careers and leadership opportunities. Not only will they have developed into exceptional communicators and project managers, their experience and knowledge of the issues surrounding rehabilitation will enable them to take positions of responsibility and use them to advocate for further positive change. The leadership, communication and strategic planning skills that Unlocked officers develop are directly transferable to a variety of environments, while the experience and insights that prison work offers will help you to inspire, lead, influence and manage staff and other stakeholders.

Alternatively, some may choose to pursue management roles within the prison service, where they can draw on their experiences to lead institutional change from the inside. Prisons are complex communities, requiring leadership and management across a variety of activities and services including security, logistics, education, health and welfare, catering, staffing, finance and operations. Running a prison is a challenging and demanding role with many parallels to running a large company or public sector such as a hospital trust or academy chain.