Paul Cooper

 Meet Paul Cooper, Band 4 Prison Officer

"My role is to carry out the sentence of the courts, treat service users with decency, dignity and compassion and prepare them to lead a law-abiding life.


I have worked in this sector for almost seventeen years. After reading about the training days One Small Thing was funding in my establishment, I decided to give it a go. I have always had an interest in Mental Health. I find the mind a fascinating subject, I felt the training would offer insight in to how better to help the people in our care.

The most rewarding aspect of my work is seeing the change in people. No matter how small a change I think it is, it can be a huge achievement for that individual. Being able to encourage and praise people for making those steps is hugely rewarding for me.

If I could do one small thing to improve the system for prison residents, it would be to stop sending them to prison for short sentences. Once in custody, more mental health provision is needed.

The Trauma Informed training sessions have opened my eyes and broadened my knowledge, giving me new skills to help the people I work with. The training has given me more insight and understanding of trauma and its long lasting effects.

My motto for life is what’s the worst that can happen? When I’m not working I like to walk and I love watching a movie.

I have just started to re-read Without Remorse by Tom Clancy. Brilliant."

Photograph by Roo Kendall

LookCaterina Howard