A prison officer has spoken about his experiences during the month of Ramadan.
Mohammed  Nasir , 33, joined HMP Aylesbury a year and a half ago after teaching Arabic abroad. 

He is now hoping to encourage others to join the service.
He said:  “A family member worked in the chaplaincy here at HMP Aylesbury, so I was fortunate enough to do some voluntary work at the prison, which peaked my interest. So, I decided to apply to join the service as an officer and that’s where my journey began.”

During the month of Ramadan; Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.
Mohammed said:“When I observed Ramadan last year as an officer, I did find that there was a lot of support and understanding from the other colleagues.

"For example, when I was doing a late shift, I was able to break my fast and other officers would respect the fact I would need to sit down for five to 10 minutes and have something to eat. 

"If I also needed to make prayers that was also accommodated - so long as the operational side of things allowed it. There was always the option of switching shifts for Eid with other staff as they understood if I needed time off.” 
The focus of an officer’s work is to keep the prisoners and public safe, but he said it was also important to be a role model for prisoners and someone they can talk to. He said breaking the cycle of crime is important. 
He said:“I enjoy helping people, which is what being a prison officer is all about. I have enjoyed sitting down one-to-one with prisoners and really getting to understand their issues. 

"After you’ve built a rapport over a long period of time, it’s rewarding to start seeing positive changes in the prisoners. So it’s a lot of the role is about talking and connecting with the prisoners – helping them day-to-day.”   
Earlier in the year Mohammed moved into a business support role. He hopes to continue his career in the prison service for many years and would like to eventually work in the chaplaincy.

You do not need qualifications to become a prison officer or to join in a support staff role. New recruits start on a salary of £34,402 and full training is offered.
He said: “If you are thinking about a career in the service, my advice is to go ahead and do it. The prison service recognises and respects people from all backgrounds, which is so important  - there is a lot of support and understanding from colleagues. 

"If you are Muslim, for example, and you are thinking working in the service might impact observing Ramadan – it won’t. It hasn’t affected me and my colleagues in that way, at all. 
“There are also so many different avenues you can go down once you’ve joined. It was only after I joined HMP Aylesbury that I began to realise the breadth of roles in the service that were available.”