Prison Scenario Test Back to top TOP This is a series of six questions to give you an idea of the situations you might be faced with when working in a prison environment. In each question you are asked to select the most likely course of action you would take. Please note that this does not form part of the assessment process and you will be provided with feedback for each response you select. In many of these situations, there is more than one course of appropriate action and it requires fine judgement to decide what to do. We have made recommendations on each scenario on how you should respond. To begin an application, please return to our website. Good luck!You are locking up cells at night-time when one prisoner tells you he needs to borrow a book from another prisoner. You have to make sure everyone is locked up in the next two minutes and the other prisoner's cell is 5 or 6 doors down the corridor. He is pleading with you, saying it won't take him long and that he has to have the book.What would you do? Tell the prisoner he has had plenty of time and shut the cell door so that he cannot speak to you anymore. Refuse the request and explain to the prisoner that you have to get everyone locked up on time. Allow the prisoner to go and get the book on the condition that he is back in one minute. Correct! You should explain your reasons but be clear on the expectations.Be careful - it is important to establish trust with prisoners but do not allow them to take this too far. Try again.This is not a good idea - it could potentially make the situation worse and adversely affect the prison environment. Try again.You are overseeing the visits hall when you think you see a visitor passing a mobile phone to a prisoner. You have the prisoner removed to be searched but after he has left the room the visitor starts to become angry, shouting at you and your colleagues. There are twenty minutes of visit time remaining.What would you do? Try to calm the visitor down and stay with them while you wait for the results of the prisoner search. Ask the visitor to leave the premises, saying that they will be able to return if nothing is found on the prisoner. Clear the visitor area so that you can talk to the visitor one-on-one about the incident. Correct! You should aim to de-escalate any situations quickly and calmly. It is also advised to take them somewhere quiet.This would not be a good idea - you don't want to cut short other visits with 20 minutes still to go. Try again.Be careful - this might make the situation worse as the visitor is already behaving in an angry manner. Try again.You are about to serve lunch to the 40 prisoners on your wing when you come across a prisoner who has just been told by the chaplaincy that a close relative has suffered a heart attack. He is in floods of tears in a public area of the prison, telling you how devastated he is. You have a particularly good rapport with this prisoner.What would you do? Comfort the prisoner, giving them a hug and saying that you are always there for them. Delay serving lunch to listen to the prisoner until you are sure they are ok to be left alone. Inform a colleague about the situation and take the prisoner into an office to speak further. Correct! It is important to support prisoners where possible but you can't be in two places at once so use your colleagues.Be careful - considering all the prisoners at all times is vital. This could lead to problems with other prisoners. Try again.Whilst it is important to offer comfort and support, you must keep professional boundaries so this would be considered inappropriate. Try again.Two prisoners are having a heated argument during association time and begin pushing each other. Although it is not especially aggressive, other prisoners are crowding around shouting and encouraging them to fight. There are no other officers around as far as you can see.What would you do? Get between the two prisoners and push them apart so that a full, physical fight doesn't break out. Alert other prison officers that you need support and try to talk to the prisoners until they arrive. Draw your baton to attract the prisoners' attention and warn them of the consequences if they do not break it up. This is not a good idea as you may become caught up in the crossfire. Try again.Correct! It is best to try and de-escalate the situation by speaking to the individuals and using support where there is a crowd involved. It is unlikely that this will help the situation as drawing your baton will be seen as an aggressive move by the prisoners. Try again.You are supervising on the wing during social time and whilst patrolling you notice a group of six prisoners sitting together in a communal area. They are having a religious meeting amongst themselves. Two of them have been convicted of terror offences. There have been concerns raised by prisoners and staff that the two prisoners in question may be attempting to recruit for a terrorist organisation.What would you do? Observe the prisoners, listening for anything suspicious and let your manager know what happened. Ask the prisoners to disperse. Inform your manager and ask for the CCTV footage to be reviewed. Sound the emergency alarm so more prison officers can arrive as you think something might be about to happen. Correct - you cannot assume that anything untoward is happening but make sure the situation is monitored.This response is too drastic considering the lack of evidence. It may also cause a situation to arise with the prisoners. Try again.This is not necessary as you do not have enough evidence that something might be about to happen. Try again.You are just finishing a day shift when you come across a prisoner who begins a conversation with you. Although she does not seem to be visibly upset, she tells you how unhappy she is, using phrases like "my life is worthless" and "I don't know what to do". You know this prisoner does not get on well with some of the other officers and you have a good rapport with her.What would you do? Stay with the prisoner as long as it takes until you are satisfied her issues have been resolved. Fill in a document monitoring those at risk of self-harm and speak to a staff member coming on duty about your conversation. Listen for a few minutes and then promise to continue the conversation when you are back on shift the next day. There are better options here. At the end of a shift you should feel able to leave confident that a situation will be dealt with. Try again.Correct! It's important to follow due process but try to consider who is best to speak to in these circumstances.Congratulations you have reached the end of the test! You should now have a better idea of the types of situations that prison officers face, the variety that the job offers and the skills that you can build in this role. 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