WHEN you hear the words ‘family trade’ you probably think of something like a butcher's or a restaurant, and not a high-security prison.

But that is indeed the case for the O’Halloran’s, who all work together at HMP Long Lartin, a category A prison on the edge of Worcestershire.

Andy O’Halloran, 54, lives just down the road from the jail and has served as a prison officer there for 30 years, during which time he met his wife, Jo.

Now, the couple has been joined by their son, 21-year-old Jack, who has started as an operational support grade.

Andy said: “My wife and I have been here so long, we are part of the furniture!

“People wouldn’t think of a prison as somewhere you would want your children to work, but we have enjoyed working at HMP Long Lartin and were delighted when Jack joined us.

“We only live five minutes down the road and travel in together when our shifts marry up. Jack is proud to wear the uniform and he’s a good worker. He wants to go on and become a prison officer like his mum and dad and he has all of our experience to build on."

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Cotswold Journal: Jo, Jack and Andy O'HalloranJo, Jack and Andy O'Halloran (Image: HMPPS)

Jack previously worked as a fitter in a car garage before joining his family at Long Lartin, in South Littleton near Evesham.

He said: “You see films and documentaries about life inside a prison but I knew from my parents that life behind the walls is different to that – and I’m enjoying it.

“I was nervous before my first day but everyone was so helpful and there is a great team spirit. By my second day I already felt like I belonged.

“My plan is to work for a year or two before applying to be a prison officer as well, and then see how far I can go. There are so many doors that can open up, it’s a good career to get into.”

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Long Lartin has a capacity of up to 609, accommodating both men and women who have been sentenced as well as those who are on remand awaiting trial.

The O'Halloran family are now encouraging others to consider joining them in HM Prison Service.

Andy said: “To be successful in the prison service you need to be strong-minded, positive, empathetic and be able to multi-task. These are all qualities and traits many people naturally possess without realising.

“There are huge benefits for working parents too, including 25 days annual holiday and access to a great pension. You will also be trained for every situation and get the chance to work with a close-knit and supportive team.”