Prison Officers: Labour Turnover

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 20th June 2022.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the proportion of new prison officers who leave service after less than (a) one, (b) six, (c) 12, (d) 24 and (e) 36 months.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

There is a national focus on improving staff retention rates across HMPPS.

This includes, but is not restricted to:

  • Implementation of a retention strategy and toolkit within HMPPS to bring organisational consistency to how we tackle attrition
  • A focus on prisons with the highest attrition rates, and the main causes
  • National interventions to help address national themes
  • Tracking of local interventions to manage the micro issues within individual sites

The number of prison officers who have left after less than (a) one, (b) six, (c) 12, (d) 24 and (e) 36 months' service is shown in table 1 below.

The latest set of published HMPPS workforce statistics covering the period to 31 March 2022 is available in the public domain at : Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service workforce quarterly: March 2022 - GOV.UK (

Table 1: Proportion of band 3-5 officers1 who left HMPPS by length of service2, in the 12 months to 31 March 2022.

Length of service2,3


Percentage of all leavers in period

Less than 1 month



Less than 6 months



Less than 12 months



Less than 24 months



Less than 36 months



Total band 3-5 officer leavers



  1. Includes Bands 3-4 / Prison Officer (incl. specialists), Band 4 / Supervising Officer and Band 5 / Custodial Managers.
  2. Length of service in HMPPS calculated from most recent hire date. Where staff have transferred in from another Government Department or have transferred in through HMPPS taking over a function, length of service is calculated from entry to HMPPS.
  3. Figures are given on a cumulative basis i.e., staff who fall within the shorter service groups are also included in the longer service groups.

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