A PRISON officer says she's "grown so much as a person" as she encourages others to sign up to become new recruits at HMP Hewell.

Brittany Bent previously left college in Lancashire and moved to the Midlands to start a new role on the frontline at the prison in Tardebigge.

The 23-year-old, who lives in Bromsgrove, joined the Worcestershire prison four years ago.

She is now using skills gained from her course in public services to engage with prisoners and help break the cycle of crime.

HMP Hewell is looking for officers to join Ms Bent and their team. New prison officer recruits start on a salary of £30,902 and full training will be given.

Ms Bent said: “On my college course I studied different parts of public service, including policing and other custodial environments. I always wanted to work in the justice system when I finished school, it was a three-year course and I loved it.

“My tutor was a former prison officer, and speaking to her planted the idea of becoming one myself. That’s the route I took. After college my friends were applying for university, and I was looking for jobs in prison. When they were out during freshers’ week I was moving two hours away looking for somewhere to live on my own. It was a big challenge but one I was ready for.

“I have grown so much as a person. At first, my family thought I was so young and I wouldn’t last and come home - but I can’t be a quitter. There’s never been a time when I thought I can’t do this. My family are so proud of me now and proud that I have built a life alongside the job.”

Redditch Advertiser: Brittany Bent Brittany Bent (Image: MOJ)

She added: “I would recommend being a prison officer 100 per cent, it’s an amazing role and it helps you to better yourself as a person. It’s not just a job, it’s a career. The opportunities are amazing as long as you are prepared for the bad days as well as the good.

“You are able to deal with that by working with your team, everyone around me is amazing. We are like a family and without them I wouldn’t be in the same situation. 

“The biggest skill you need to have is being able to listen to people from every aspect of life, every culture.

“There are so many different career opportunities to progress or step sideways into another role. You can become a dog handler, physical education instructor, a trainer or even go into specialised roles such as security. 

Ralph Lubkowski, Governor of HMP Hewell, said: “Brittany has been a great addition to the team at Hewell and has made a life for herself in the area.

 “She was only young when she joined us but has already learned so much and is a great influence on her fellow officers and prisoners alike. She has her sights set on a long career at HMP Hewell and I know she’ll be a great success.”

People can find out more about the jobs on offer via the HM Prison and Probation Service website.