The new Chief Inspector of Probation has been announced today. Paul McDowell will take over from Liz Calderbank who has held the post on an interim basis since 2011.
Paul is currently Chief Executive of crime reduction charity NACRO and was the Governor of HMP Brixton for more than three years.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“Paul’s experience inside the prison walls helping to turn offenders’ lives around, and his work in the community helping to break the cycle of reoffending make him an ideal fit for this role.”
He will take over the role at a crucial time as the Government is introducing radical reforms to the way offenders are rehabilitated. All prisoners will receive at least 12 months supervision in the community on release, to help them turn their backs on crime.
Across the country 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies, run by private and voluntary organisations, will be set up to manage medium and low risk offenders. They will work together with the public sector to address the criminal behaviour of our most chaotic and prolific offenders and will only be paid in full if they are successful at reducing reoffending.
A new National Probation Service is also being created, tasked with protecting the public from the most dangerous offenders in England and Wales.
HMI Probation will have a vital role in inspecting the whole system, covering both the public sector and the work of the newly formed Community Rehabilitation Companies.
Chris Grayling added:
“We are making radical changes to the rehabilitation of offenders, and we expect HMI Probation to play a vital role in maintaining high standards and shining a light across the new system, helping us to get the best from our crucial reforms.”
The Justice Select Committee approved Paul McDowell’s appointment at a hearing on October 8 this year, commenting that the candidate’s breadth of experience made him highly suitable.
He will take up the post in February 2014.
On his appointment, Paul McDowell said:
“I very much look forward to becoming HM Chief Inspector of Probation. The independent inspection of probation services is vital to ensure that interventions and engagement are of the highest quality and are effective in reducing reoffending.
“I am also looking forward to working with youth offending teams and inspecting the work they do to keep young people safe and prevent them from reoffending.”