What do Sheriff’s Officers do?

Sheriff’s Officers provide a service to all court users and contribute to the overall security of the Courts Administration Authority in relation to prisoner and court security by:

  • providing a high quality customer service to all clients of the court system;
  • ensuring the security and welfare of prisoners held in custody and other persons appearing before the court;
  • providing an efficient and effective in court support service to the court system by meeting the requirements of the judiciary and jurors on a daily basis;
  • and maintaining safety standards.

Sheriff’s Officers perform duties in courtrooms, prisoner holding cells, court buildings and, at times, in public places, e.g., where a court may be attending.  Sheriff’s Officers are multi-skilled to perform three operational roles; in court support, court security and prisoner security.

1.  In Court Support

Under the Sheriff’s Act, 1978 the Sheriff must provide a Sheriff’s Officer to all criminal sittings of all courts throughout the State.  Sheriff’s Officers keep order within the courtroom and attend to the needs of witnesses and other persons having business before the courts.

Some of the in court support duties within the Magistrates Court jurisdiction are:

  • take details of persons attending the court and provide that information to the magistrate's clerk;
  • provide information to, and obtain information from, defendants fined in court and escort them to a fines payment assessor;
  • keep people in the custody of the court until they have signed bail or bond papers;
  •  and ensure people in the court behave appropriately.

In addition, Sheriff’s Officers performing the in court support role in the Supreme Court and District Court criminal sittings must also ensure the welfare and safety of jurors.

2.  Court Security

Sheriff's Officers provide a protective security service to all court precincts in the Adelaide Central Business District, to the metropolitan courts at Port Adelaide, Christies Beach, Holden Hill and Elizabeth, and the regional courts of Port Augusta and Mt Gambier.

Some of the duties include:

  • provide a customer and information service to all court users;
  • conduct point of entry searches;
  • monitor closed circuit TVs, alarms etc in control rooms;
  • respond to courtroom and registry counter duress alarms;
  • oversee emergency evacuations of court buildings;
  • and provide a security presence in courtrooms.

3.  Prisoner Security

Sheriff's Officers provide a custodial prisoner security service for the operation of the Supreme Court and District Court criminal sittings within the Sir Samuel Way Building.

Some of the duties include:

  • ensure the safe, secure and humane containment of persons in custody appearing before the courts;
  • escort prisoners from the main holding cells area to a smaller holding cells area adjacent to the courtroom;
  • escort prisoners into the courtroom dock and remain with them until the court matter is completed;
  • and transport and accompany prisoners on jury views at alleged crime scenes.

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Employment conditions

The Sheriff’s Office of the Courts Administration Authority employs full time, permanent part time and casual Sheriff’s Officers. 

Hours of Employment

Sheriff’s Officers' hours of employment are normally Monday to Friday, exclusive of public holidays.  Some out of hours work and intrastate travel may be required.  Sheriff’s Officers may be required to work at various locations within the city, metropolitan and regional areas. Sheriff’s Officers are required to perform any of the operational functions as part of their multi-skilled status.

Full time sheriff’s Officers are employed for 38 hours per week with a rostered day off per month and part time Sheriff’s Officers are generally offered 25 hours per week. Casual Sheriff’s Officers are not guaranteed any hours of work per week as their requirement is determined by the activities of the court.  Courts normally sit between 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

Uniforms

Sheriff’s Officers are required to wear a uniform and carry equipment.  Trousers, skirts, shirts, pullover, tie and belt are provided.  Sheriff’s Officers are required to carry handcuffs, keys and a small first aid first response pouch.  When performing court security duties, Sheriff’s Officers are required to carry a two-way radio.

Employment locations

Sheriff’s Officers are employed in the Adelaide Central Business District¸ suburban and regional courts.  Sheriff’s Officers can be placed at any Adelaide CBD or suburban court location and may be directed to work at any location at any time.

Adelaide CBD courts

  • Supreme Court (Criminal) and District Court (Civil and Criminal), Sir Samuel Way Building, Victoria Square.
  • Supreme Court (Civil), Gouger Street
  • Adelaide Magistrates Court (Civil and Criminal), Angas Street
  • Adelaide Youth Court (Wright Street)

Training

Sheriff’s Officers are trained using a competency-based program that includes six weeks off-the-job training followed by a minimum of three months on-the-job training.

Off-the-job training

The off-the-job training is conducted in a formal classroom setting and includes:

  • induction, powers and authority, and operational safety;
  • court security duties;
  • in court support duties;
  • prisoner security duties;

On-the-job training

The on-the-job training is conducted for a minimum of three months and covers the three operational areas.  Sheriff’s Officers form part of the normal roster during this time.  A Senior Sheriff’s Officer monitors and assesses the Sheriff’s Officers to determine their competency against set criteria.

Once Sheriff’s Officers are assessed as competent in each of the three operational areas and their training period has expired, they will be paid at the higher pay rate and be placed at a location.  If Sheriff’s Officers are not assessed as competent, they will be given further training.  However, if they do not gain a competent level in each of the three operational areas, the Sheriff has the discretion to terminate their employment.

Sheriff’s Officers are required to undertake further training as required and complete block assignments in the functions that are not their core function every twelve to eighteen months.

What do we look for in applicants?

The Sheriff’s Office requires people who have:

  • a strong customer service focus;
  • demonstrated ability to work in a team;
  • excellent communication skills;
  • cultural awareness;
  • high ethical standards.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages and promotes the recruitment of people of indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds.

Applicants must also be physically and psychologically able to perform all the duties of this position, including, but not limited to, working in a prison cell environment, restraining prisoners/clients of the court, working in conflict situations and resolving such situations, and evacuating court clients and staff during emergency situations.

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Selection process

1.   Application

Positions are advertised on the IWorkforSA website - select ‘Courts Administration Authority’ in the ‘Agency’ field and follow the prompts on the screen. 

2.   Assessment / Information Session

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an assessment process, including literacy, numeracy, IQ and psychological testing.    In these sessions applicants are provided with further details of the role and employment conditions.    Applicants will be further shortlisted based on their results from the assessment process and invited to attend an interview.

Appointment is subject to a satisfactory Child Related Employment Screening prior to employment and a National Police Certificate that the CAA finds satisfactory.​

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Further enquiries

If you require further information, please contact;

Manager Operations, Sheriff’s Officers on telephone +61 8 8204 0125  or +61 8 8204 0584

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Sheriffs Officer Job Profile - Sheriff's Officer 2018.docx [42KB]