To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent estimate they have made of the levels of (1) retention, and (2) cumulative experience, of prison officers.
20 June 2022
HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) does not have a standard definition of ‘retention rates’, however we do publish information on leaving rates which can be used as a proxy. The leaving rate is the number of staff who have left the department in the previous 12 months divided by the average number of staff in post over the same period.
In the 12 months to 31 March 2022, the leaving rate for Band 3 Prison Officers, Band 4 Supervising Officers/Prison Officer specialists and Band 5 Custodial Managers was 14.5%.
Band 3 to 5 covers all operational grades including all Prison Officers.
As at 31 March 2022, there were 22,002 FTE band 3-5 prison officers in post who together held a cumulative length of service of 238,195 years. In terms of headcount, there are 22,972 prison officers and so this gives an average of 10.4 years per prison officer.
A full breakdown of prison officer numbers by length of service is published in Table 4 of HMPPS workforce Statistics bulletin, the March 2022 publication is available at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/her-majestys-prison-and-probation-service-workforce-quarterly-march-2022. Figures have been reproduced below.
Table 1: HMPPS staff by length of service, for Band 3-5 Prison Officers as at 31 March 2022
(Full Time Equivalent)
Completed years of service
Band 3-5 Officers