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Drug Strategy Lead – HMP Guys Marsh – 43366
£38,148 - £43,870


We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

Overview of the job

The reoffending rate has remained broadly static at around 29% since 2010, and during the 12 months ending March 2019, 81% of offenders convicted or cautioned had at least one previous conviction or caution. Reoffending is costing society approximately £18bn per year and almost half of all prisoners reoffend within 12 months of release.  

As part of a refreshed effort across Government, HMPPS have launched a new Reducing Reoffending Directorate charged with galvanising collective efforts across the Agency and with our public, private and third sector partners to turn the dial on these statistics.  We will create the conditions (space and freedom, as well as tools and a new operational framework) for our leaders to drive change in their localities and drive change in the way we influence our partners, so we become a more confident and demanding customer on those we share responsibility for tackling this challenge alongside.   

The Reducing Reoffending Directorate are seeking to trial a number of potential new prison-based roles focused at supporting efforts to reduce reoffending, including a Drug Strategy Lead. The job holder will seek to provide a key focus on this work strand by providing strategic and operational direction within the HMP Guys Marsh to ultimately reduce substance misuse, developing relationships between HMPPS, Drug and alcohol agencies and external commissioners. This is an exciting opportunity to test the role as a priority area of work rather than being attached to other roles with operational responsibility, shaping and refining it as it is delivered. 

We are looking for an energetic and enthusiastic individual to work in the Prison and feedback learning to the Reducing Reoffending Directorate on secondment, loan or fixed-term agreement until 31 March 2022. Due to the short period of time we are looking for experienced individuals who can progress this role from taking up post in June/July. 

The Drug Strategy lead will be responsible for the delivery of the HMPPS Drug Strategy (“the strategy”) and associated Guidance and Good Practice in the establishment, ensuring the agency is reducing the level of drug misuse amongst prisoners through a comprehensive range of activity brigaded under each of the three themes of the strategy, which align to the overarching Government Drug Strategy:

  1. Restricting Supply;
  2. Reducing Demand; and
  3. Building Recovery

The post holder for this project will focusing on the reducing demand and building recovery strands of the drugs strategy as well as developing relationships to manage other strategy actions.

This an opportunity for an experienced and skillful individual to oversee the continuing development of processes and procedures around reducing the harm caused by drugs in our prisons. The post holder will be required to build effective relationships with, colleagues across HMPPS and MoJ to ensure the strategy is delivered.

The post holder will act as a subject matter expert to the Governor and their Senior Management Team (SMT). 

The role is non-operational and establishment based.   It is focused on achieving operational improvement in prisons and so requires the post holder to have (or to develop) a good understanding of the operational realities of drug misuse in prisons and the operational context in which the activities sit. Operational experience of working in prisons would be highly desirable. 


The “accelerator prison” approach aims to deliver targeted specialist support at a prison to support the Governor and her/his team to investigate, evaluate and improve practice at pace. The expectation is that learning from accelerator sites will be shared across the prison estate. 


The jobholder provides strategic leadership and is responsible for planning and managing the Drug Strategy in the identified accelerator prison, including rolling out the programme to be introduced throughout 2021. This involves responding to fluctuating workload and maintaining a calm approach in the face of competing interests.

They will provide advice to accelerator project manager, and to other senior managers throughout HMPPS regarding the Drug strategy delivery in the establishment.

Responsibilities, Activities & Duties 

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

  • Lead the establishment’s Drug Strategy, providing support to wider accelerator initiatives in the programme.
  • Support health and justice lead offering advice and support to manage the transition into the community.
  • Identify and communicate current trends in relation to substance misuse in the establishment
  • Develop a detailed understanding of, and map the key barriers and opportunities to success in order to inform longer-term national approaches
  • Produce support documents for Drug Strategy portfolio development providing guidance and advice to the reducing re-offending team.
  • Review and support the establishment in design, implementation and updates of drug strategy.
  • Collaborate with PGD Drug Strategy leads and address individual concerns from visits and follow up reports.
  • Ensure that best practice is shared through a variety of forums, including drugs lead meetings, internal learning events, opportunities to promote accelerator projects on the intranet.

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. 


For the purpose of selection the following competencies will be measured:

  • Changing and Improving
  • Working Together
  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Effective decisions 


  • Strong understanding of operational practice, particularly the appropriate management and development of drug strategies within the custodial setting.
  • Experience of delivering projects within set time frames
  • Experience of developing projects across partners both internal and external.
  • Strong communication (written and verbal)
  • Experience of developing collaborative and partnership working with senior stakeholders
  • Organisation and problem solving skills
  • Project management experience or qualification (Prince 2) 

If successful candidates will need to complete vetting at enhanced level. You will need to demonstrate/ provide evidence of:

Confirmation of right to work

Confirmation of ID and address


Criminal conviction

Employment history

Countersignature (where relevant)

Health check (where relevant)

Criminal record history of spent and unspent offenses

Information held by local police force.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information about the project, role or working in HMP Guys Marsh we are going to run a webinar. Please contact for more information.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s, including HMPPS, 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.


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


-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


-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 provide a variety of training appropriate to individual posts

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


-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 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.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.