10 January 2019
The Deputy Prison Governor, who rose through the ranks after joining as an officer in 1988, has been praised for his loyal and hardworking service.
Nick Watkins has served for 30 years at the prison and in that time has been awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and the Prison Service’s Long Service and Good Conduct medal.
The married father of two, who describes his family as a ‘tremendous support’, joined the Prison Service in September 1988 after working at Ronez quarry. “Within two hours on my first day I was labouring again, digging trenches to help with the installation of new perimeter security measures,” he remembers.
Mr Watkins, who was appointed Deputy Governor in 2014, has worked in all areas of the prison. He set up the Vulnerable Persons unit with the help and support of colleagues and has been instrumental in introducing digital technology to the service, including being involved with the development of an electric locking system which has now been deployed in many other jurisdictions.
“I have enjoyed some great times during my career and learned so much from the people I have come into contact with, and I still continue to learn,” he says. “The best thing about my team, which is not limited to uniformed officers but also includes support staff and civil servants, is the people. We are all different but have a shared interest in looking after people and helping them break their offending behaviour. I do believe that life’s experiences and situations influence the path we tread and the choices we make. Sometimes it just takes a little effort to help someone get back onto the right path.
“The Prison Service has great people working for it, and the island can be proud that people of this calibre serve them. Our business partners and colleagues from other services also do a tremendous job to support us. Without them we wouldn’t be as successful.”
A proud Jerseyman, Mr Watkins loves “the beaches, the coast and the people” of his island home, and, when he isn’t working, enjoys playing golf, shooting, watching sports and spending time with family and friends.
Prison governor Nick Cameron said: “Nick Watkins has worked for the SoJPS for 30 years with pride and distinction, rising from Officer to Deputy Governor and recently acting Governor. Jersey can be proud to have such a dedicated, loyal and hardworking public servant. On behalf of all SoJPS staff, I congratulate him and thank him for his service to Jersey.”