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Job at The Ministry of Justice in Portland, Multnomah County
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Drug Strategy Lead - HMP Portland

Job at The Ministry of Justice in Portland, Multnomah County

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Accelerator Prisons Project – Drug Strategy Lead – Additional Information

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.

The job holder will seek to provide a key focus on the prison drug strategy by providing strategic and operational direction within the prison to ultimately reduce substance misuse, developing relationships between HMPPS, drug and alcohol agencies and external commissioners. This is an exciting opportunity as a priority area of work rather than being attached to other roles with operational responsibility.

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:

Restricting SupplyReducing DemandBuilding Recovery

The post holder will focus 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 a whole prison approach to 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 may be operational or 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.

Experience of working in prisons would be highly desirable.


The job holder provides strategic leadership and is responsible for planning and managing the Drug Strategy in the establishment ensuring effective arrangements are in place for governance, risk management and monitoring. This involves responding to fluctuating workload and maintaining a calm approach in the face of competing interests.

They will provide advice and progress updates to senior managers throughout HMPPS regarding the drug strategy delivery in the establishment.

The role will be establishment based with the expectation that post holders will travel as and when required.

This post may be operational or non-operational. If operational, please see Technical Requirements.

Responsibilities, Activities & Duties

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

Review and support the establishment in design, implementation and updates of drug strategy ensuring effective governance is in place and alignment to the national HMPPS strategy. 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.Lead innovation and new initiatives within the prison that reduce demand and build recovery, ensuring collaboration with key partners, staff, prisoners and families. Ensure person centred pathways for recovery that empower individuals to lead a substance free life.Work in collaboration with the Health and Justice lead offering advice and support to manage the transition into the community to improve continuity of care.Collaborate with PGD Drug Strategy leads and the national HMPPS Drug Strategy and Delivery team to address individual concerns from visits and follow up reports.Support strategic discussions with partners and stakeholders to ensure a whole prison approach to the delivery of the prison strategy. Ensure that best practice is shared through a variety of forums, including drugs lead meetings, internal learning events, opportunities to promote projects on the intranet.Act as a single point of contact for the prison drug strategy promoting staff knowledge and ensuring health services are aligned to prison processes and procedures.

Dependant on operational experience will undertake some or all other management tasks including:

Act as the Governor's representative by chairing adjudications and taking charge of day-to-day establishment operations as Duty Governor.Promote Prison Service policy in all activities and behaviours e.g. promote diversity, decency, safety and reducing re-offending agendas.Review open Assessment Care in Custody Teamwork (ACCT) as and when required in line with audit baselines.Provide leadership and management of the Function. Will have the skills to apply all Human Resources (HR) related policies and practices and be able to carry out all aspects of people management such as Attendance Management, Disciplinary Investigations, Performance Management and Staff Appraisals.Manage Prisoners Complaints Process within the Function.Responsible for ensuring all litigation claims relevant to the area have been dealt with in accordance with policy.Oversee the compilation and regular progress reporting of performance improvement programmes.Manage the appropriate authorisation of Financial Compliance Statements.Manage devolved budgets in accordance with the financial procedures outlined in the budget delegation.Ensure that the Function produces and analyses audit and establishment performance management information identifying variances and areas requiring improvements.Contribute to the establishment’s overall achievement of (SDIs) and standards and be accountable for the performance and delivery of targets relating to the Function.Accountable for all local and national policies relating to the Function, and ensure procedures implemented are compliant, including the development of new policies.Contribute to the development and delivery of the medium-to-long term strategic and business plan for the establishment, with overall responsibility for implementation within their Function.Attend relevant boards/meetings and actively contribute either as chair or team member.Responsible for ensuring the defined work areas and associated activities comply with Health and Safety legislation. Ensure all risk assessments are undertaken and staff are made aware of their personal responsibility towards Health and Safety compliance.Work collaboratively and provide constructive challenge to colleagues to ensure that their own and other Functions are joined up and together contribute towards the overall delivery of the establishment’s performance.Contribute to the preparation of the establishment contingency and emergency plans and ensure implementation when required.Ensure the effective use of staff resources and the provision of training and annual leave opportunities.Produce relevant reports as required and ensure that the response to all correspondence are within agreed timescales.Carry out investigations and administration in relation to incidents of potential discrimination and report on findings.Accountable for ensuring actions arising from Standard Audit, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) Action Plans and Managing Quality of Prison Life (MQPL) surveys, including local Self Audit action plans and Resettlement strategies, are delivered.Deliver and implement projects as directed by the Governor.Actively encourage staff engagement within the Function to ensure objectives are met.

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.

An ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence through the medium of English or (where specified in Wales) Welsh.


Changing and ImprovingDeveloping Self and OthersWorking TogetherSeeing the Big PictureMaking Effective DecisionsCommunicating and InfluencingManaging a Quality service


Strong understanding of criminal justice system, 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.Experience of developing collaborative and partnership working with senior stakeholders.

Technical Requirements

Project management experience or qualification (Prince 2).Job holders must complete specific training in their specialism once they take up post.Successful completion of the workbook.When transferring to a Young Persons establishment the job holder will be required to successfully undertake an assessment to demonstrate suitability to work with Young People.

If Operational

Must be successfully accredited by passing the Head of Function Assessment Centre (HFAC), or prior to 2016 be accredited as an Operational Manager (or in post as a G5 prior to 1999).Where HFAC accreditation was gained from 2018, the Incident Management Silver Command (IMSC) assessment must also be passed to be eligible for operational Head of Function roles.


Strong communication (written and verbal).Organisation and problem-solving skills.

Hours of Work (Unsocial Hours) Allowances

37 hour week

ID 73012 Sectors:
in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon
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