- Course studied:
- Psychology and Criminology
- Year of graduation:
A career behind bars
Laura Maddocks thought she wanted to follow her father and brother into the prison service, but her Staffordshire degree confirmed it.
Studying psychology and criminology gave her a firm foundation on which to base her career and she uses the knowledge gained every day in her role as interventions facilitator at Bullingdon Community Prison in Bicester.
“If it wasn’t for my degree I don’t know what direction I would have taken,” says the 29-year-old, who comes from Northamptonshire. “It made me confident that did want to go into that line of work.
“My day-to-day role is grounded in what I learned during my degree. For example, it’s been a massive advantage in the work I do with people with low IQs and carrying out IQ assessments.”
Working with prisoners
Laura started working at Bullingdon in public protection in the summer between her second and third year at university, then after graduating in 2007 she returned in an admin role. A job came up about a year later as a drugs worker, and she became an Offending Behaviour Programme (OBP) Facilitator in 2012.
She works with medium and high risk prisoners, delivering programmes designed to reduce reoffending, such as how to manage emotions and have healthy relationships, and sex offender treatment programmes.
“My job never gets boring because although I am delivering the same programmes, the groups are always different,” she says.
“Some of the courses I facilitate are mentally and emotionally demanding and you have to have an eight-week break between them, so I’ll run other courses then which are not so intense.
“But I never feel threatened – it’s not how people imagine. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me.”
Love at first sight
Laura can’t remember what drew her to Staffordshire in the first place – other than family connections to neighbouring Derbyshire – but says she knew immediately it was the place for her.
“My parents and I went to the open day and I loved it,” she says. “It just clicked.
“I had never lived away from home before and it was a massive step for me. But the university, the facilities and the teaching gave me so much confidence and made life easier.
“I’m not a naturally clever person and I worked very hard, although I still had time to enjoy myself. I had great nights out with friends and played rugby.
“I loved my uni days and if I could go back I would do it 10 times over.”
Laura was the first person in her family to go to university and her graduation at Trentham Gardens was a proud moment.
“When I was up on the stage I could hear my parents and grandparents screaming over everything else,” she says. “I’ve been looking at this year’s graduation pictures online and feeling very nostalgic.
“I haven’t had an opportunity to go back to the university but I always look on Facebook and keep up with things like the development of the Stoke campus. I loved being at Staffordshire and always recommend it to people. I am so pleased I went there.”