Behind the walls of Victoria’s prisons – what life is really like for the people who work there

June 18, 2024 BY

Corey, Prison Supervisor at Barwon Prison.

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in prison? 

Most people have a very particular idea – high walls, long and dark corridors and heavy security. The reality is that working in a prison is so much more.

United by a desire to protect the public and change lives for the better, Victoria’s prison officers are as diverse as the communities they serve.

From tradies and teachers to healthcare workers and retail staff – it’s a career that attracts people from all walks of life, but few know what the role of a prison officer actually entails.

Prison Supervisor Corey shares his story.

“You meet so many people from different walks of life working in a prison and it’s my responsibility to make sure they are supervised and supported at all times,” says Corey, who has worked at Barwon Prison for more than 12 years.

After years working in hospitality, Corey followed his mother’s footsteps and became a prison officer. Despite not having any formal skills or qualifications, it didn’t take long for Corey to climb the ranks, and he is now a Prison Supervisor managing a team of 11 people.

“The progression opportunities are endless. I joined Corrections Victoria as an unskilled worker but it’s easy to make something of yourself here if you want to,” said Corey. “I’m proof that you can achieve anything if you work hard. I went from having no formal skills, to earning two promotions and am now respected by colleagues and people in custody.

“I never thought I’d work in the same prison as my mum, but following in her footsteps has given me a career to be proud of.”


Corey, Prison Supervisor at Barwon Prison.


Looking for something different? The skills you already have can help you make a positive impact as a prison officer. New prison officers are now eligible for a sign on bonus of $5,000* and 41 days of paid training are provided before the first day on the job. Find out how you can be part of a team reshaping lives at: https://www.justice.vic.gov.au/prison-careers.
*Conditions apply.
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