• Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Female Muslim prison service officer speaks about her Ramadan observance

Parveen is an induction officer and is responsible for settling in new arrivals to HMP Sudbury,(Representative image: iStock)

Vibhuti PathakBy: Vibhuti Pathak

A prison officer named Sobia Parveen, a 31-year-old, talks about the observance of the holy month of Ramadan while she is posted in HMP Sudbury, a category D rehabilitation and resettlement prison near Ashbourne in Derbyshire that is home to around 600 prisoners.

Parveen, with her experience, also motivates people from different cultures to join the service, which comes with many benefits. One of the benefits is that the job includes 25 days of holiday and an excellent pension.

Parveen has a degree in childhood and youth studies and initially, she used to work in schools and nurseries. Later, she shifted to probation staff as a finance and debt advisor. Currently, she works as a prison officer after she was interested and applied for the job, firstly working with HMP Leicester.

Sobia Parveen, probation officer

She interestingly shares that there are many people from diverse minority groups and communities, as HMPSS welcomes people from different cultures to work with. From first week of March, people from the Muslim community have been observing Ramadan fasting, and many interesting perspectives are being highlighted.

“I have lots of energy and I like talking to people and supporting them. I feel I can make a big difference. I get lots of job satisfaction I know I wouldn’t get if I just sat at a desk,” says Parveen.


Parveen also mentioned the observance of the whole-day fast of Ramadan at the workplace, where various people observe Ramadan and fast from dawn to dusk.

She also talks about how tough her job is referring to the roles shown on TV as a prison officer, which is quite different from reality. She is an induction officer and is responsible for settling in new arrivals to HMP Sudbury, “Growing up with brothers, I was used to being in a male environment and I have strong personality. Talking and communicating are really important in this role, as are being firm and setting clear boundaries. Prisoners know they can come to for help, they know I’ll be firm but fair,” she says as she mentions her role.

Parveen, whose roots are in Pakistan, said she got a very caring attitude at a very young age and she used to take care of her late mother about the current scenario, and her mother has always supported her with her current work profile.

She expressed her dream to become a prison governor one day and she also shared that she wants to see women of colour in senior positions. She motivates other women, that the prison service, does not require a proper qualification but women can join in a support staff role.

She mentions skills like integrity, and strength, and then a woman can apply for the Officer Support Grade (OSG) role, which also involves many roles like a peacekeeper, counsellor, and teacher, which help anyone protect the public and have a positive impact.

Further, she talks about various specialised courses within and also the salary of £32,000 minimum, along with 25 days’ holiday allowance each year, a Civil Service pension, season ticket loans, retail discounts, an Employee Assistance Programme, and a Cycle to Work scheme.


Related Stories