Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on jobs.justice.gov.uk. Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Administration / Corporate Support

60318 -Prisoner Casework – Casework Specialist (PPCS) – 60318
£27,072 – £31,529
Croydon

Apply BACK TO SEARCH

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced drafter to work at the heart of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service at our HQ in Croydon. Our Prisoner Casework unit is a dynamic, high-performing team that handles a wide variety of urgent, sensitive work. You will be given full training and mentoring to enable you to assume the responsibilities of this specialist role. A confident communicator, already adept at building excellent relationships with stakeholders, this post will offer you the opportunity to develop those skills to the highest level. This is a rare chance to learn about every aspect of the work of HMPPS, to contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders and to protect the public we serve. The applicant should have experience of drafting to a high standard in a work or university setting. 

Overview of the job 

The Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS) is placed within the Public Protection Group (PPG) of the Wales and Public Protection Directorate. The post of Prisoner Casework – Casework Specialist in Prisoner Casework within PPCS is not operational, although the business objectives of PPCS are focused on delivering frontline public protection and prisoner casework on behalf of the Prison’s Minister and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). 

The Prisoner Casework – Casework Specialist role involves drafting a wide range of correspondence within a team that handles approximately 4,500 pieces of correspondence and casework each year from across the whole prison estate. This includes: 

  • A broad range of general correspondence (Ministerial, CEO and Treat Official) in respect of determinate and indeterminate sentence prisoners.
  • Reviewing governor adjudications and the penalties awarded in respect of determinate and indeterminate sentence prisoners.
  • Investigating and responding to queries from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, ensuring that recommendations are implemented within the specified timescale.
  • Responding under the Data Protection Act to requests for information from other governmental departments, such as the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions.
  • Responding to correspondence from Inside Times, including drafting responses for publication.

The job holder will report directly to the Team Leader (Band 5), who in turn reports to the Deputy Head of Prisoner Casework (Band 7).

Summary

There are no line management responsibilities with this post.

The job holder’s responsibilities involve managing a correspondence caseload on a day-to-day basis. The job holder is expected to have or develop strong generic casework skills and a good understanding of how establishments function. Given that they often need to draw upon the support and input of policy colleagues across HMPPS HQ, they need to develop an excellent knowledge of the work of HMPPS HQ and policy groups and be able to network effectively.

The work involves liaison with a number of stakeholders, including prisons and the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, to solicit information that will ultimately be used to draft replies to correspondence. All of the work requires the ability to meet tight deadlines, organise and prioritise casework, and strong drafting skills. 

Responsibilities include the drafting of precise and accurate advice/correspondence to Ministers and senior officials on a wide range of matters relating to individual prisoners in public and private sector prisons. Subject matter includes, but is not exhaustive to, security categorisation and transfer, visits, access to education and offending behaviour programmes, regimes, lost property, safer custody and health care issues. 

The post holder is also responsible for caseworking around 2,500 adjudication reviews in accordance with Prison Service Instructions, ensuring that there are systems in place to monitor performance and ensure that business targets are met. 

The post holder will deal with sometimes complex and sensitive cases relating to individual prisoners. They will draft articles for publication in Inside Times.

There are challenging targets to ensure that casework is completed within the deadline (which will vary depending on both the type of correspondence and work).

The job holder will be expected to build and sustain relationships with other agencies and stakeholders and will liaise, on a regular basis, with a range of prison staff, Deputy Directors of Custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s office, Inside Time’s Editors, The Police, Government Legal Department, Government Legal Advisors, Probation Services, the Parole Board and other senior officials. 

The job holder will be expected to accurately and completely update their work on the Section’s IT system (PPUD) and to suggest any development requirements that may be pertinent. 

The job holder is also expected to take their turn, on a rota basis, to manage the team inbox and allocate work to their colleagues in a timely manner. 

They are also expected to take their turn, on a rota basis, processing recalls to custody of offenders who have breached their licence conditions. This duty will take place on a Friday, every other week, and may require the post-holder to work up to 7pm on those days.

Responsibilities, Activities and Duties  

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties: 

  • Providing urgent, concise and accurate briefing for Minsters, Private Office, Press Office and other senior officials.
  • Providing draft responses for Minsters, the CEO and other senior officials.
  • The preparation of a first draft of submissions, advice and draft letters on incidents, contentious issues and Ministerial enquiries. 
  • Monitoring the review of adjudication appeals from prisoners in respect of determinate and indeterminate sentence prisoners ensuring that thorough reviews have been carried out in accordance with the PSI.
  • Overseeing the acceptance of PPO’s recommendations, and the draft response to the PPO, referring to the Band 5 where appropriate.
  • Producing responses to Treat Official cases.
  • Producing a first draft of articles for Inside Times.
  • Reviewing and monitoring their own caseload, identifying pressure points and finding ways to manage the pressures to ensure that business targets are met. 
  • Initial involvement with complex and high profile cases flagging up to senior managers where Press Office and Private Office need to be informed of any cases that are likely to attract media attention.
  • Providing Private Office, via their line manager, with urgent advice on sensitive or critical cases.
  • Instructing colleagues as to the acceptance or rejection of Ministerial and CEO correspondence within 24 hours of receipt.
  • Managing the team inbox to ensure that all correspondence is correctly allocated in a timely fashion.
  • Building and sustaining effective working relationships with policy holders and other agencies including the PPO, Police, Government Legal Department, Legal Advisors and prisons etc.

The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.

Behaviours

Communicating and Influencing

Delivering at Pace

Working Together

Managing a Quality Service

Salary

£27,072 - £31,529

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.

If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.

The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.

Benefits

Annual Leave

-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.

Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays

-You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment

Pension

-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Work Life Balance

HM Prison & Probation Service  (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ

Season Ticket Advance

-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work

Childcare Vouchers

For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers

Training

HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes

-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provides a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles

Eligibility

-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post

-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS

-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which the HMPPS considers to be racist

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.