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Join our Leadership Development Programme

A two-year programme that is putting brilliant graduates and career changers at the heart of prison reform.


Unlocked Leadership Development Programme


What you will be doing

Unlocked Graduates is a two-year programme that is putting brilliant graduates and career changers at the heart of prison reform. At the moment, nearly half of all prisoners re-offend within a year of release, creating yet more victims, causing untold damage, and costing the UK more than £15bn.

Our solution is a unique leadership programme where participants work as frontline prison officers while completing a fully-funded master’s degree in leadership.

They support prisoners to turn their lives around, lead system change and develop the skills to excel no matter where they go in the future. The problems facing prisons are some of the most complex in our society.

We currently place participants in public prisons in London, the South East, North West and West Midlands.

  • You will work as a front line prison officer
  • You will support prisoners to turn their lives around
  • You will lead system change
  • You will develop your skills in leadership, communication, relationship-building, decision-making and resilience, and change lives while you do
  • You will complete a fully-funded master’s degree in leadership 

What you will have

When you’re working as a prison officer, no day is ever the same. Helping some of the most vulnerable and challenging people in society means always being prepared for new situations, and always ready to be an advocate, negotiator, diplomat and leader – all at the same time.

Our graduates need to be ambitious problem solvers who are willing to hone their skills at the frontline while also thinking about the big picture. Gathering intelligence and using their negotiation skills whether on the landing or in the Governor’s office.

  • You are an ambitious problem solver
  • You are a good negotiator 
  • You have a 2:1 degree or above
  • You have a grade C in GCSE in Maths and English or equivalent


Company benefits: mentoring; fully-funded master's degree; career development opportunities; and a competitive salary of up to £30,000

Onwards to our company and culture…

We are Unlocked Graduates

We pride ourselves on being innovative and bringing change to a system that is in dire need of fresh thinking and ideas.



You can change people's lives for the better and have an impact on wider society.


During the two-year programme, participants receive one-to-one mentoring from a highly experienced Prison Officer and have the opportunity to complete a work placement with wide range of fascinating organisations. From KPMG and PA Consulting to the Ministry of Justice and the African Prisons Project.

As part of the programme, participants complete a fully funded master’s degree that is designed to give them a deeper, academic understanding of the issues affecting the criminal justice system that they can apply on the landings as they seek to drive real change both in their prisons at a system level.

Since 2016 Unlocked has placed over 250 new officers in some of the most challenging prisons across the country and in 2018 the programme was voted graduate Programme of the Year at the Personnel Today Awards 2018.

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