Government & Public Sector
Dr Jamie Bennett is a senior civil servant leading operational security in HM Prison and Probation Service and was formerly a prison governor. He is editor of Prison Service Journal and his previous publications include the monograph “The working lives of prison managers” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015).
Lord Toby Harris was made a Life Peer in June 1998 and has been Chair of the Labour Peers since 2012. At the request of the Minister for Prisons, he led an Independent Review on the Deaths of Young People in Prison Custody. The report (“The Harris Review: Changing Prisons, Saving Lives”) was published in July 2015 and was the most substantial review of penal policy for nearly thirty years. He was also Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody that reported to the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department of Health from 2009 to 2015. In 2016, he conducted an Independent Review for the Mayor of London on London’s Preparedness to Respond to a Major Terrorist Incident. He sits as a member (currently the Vice Chair) of the Joint Committee on National Security and chairs the Independent Reference Group for the National Crime Agency.
Sue McAllister CB took up the post of Prisons and Probation Ombudsman in October 2018. Since 1983, Sue has spent her career in public service. Between 1986 and 2011, she worked in the prison service, as a prison governor and in senior strategic and policy roles in the wider Home Office and Ministry of Justice. From 2012 to 2016, Sue was Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service and Director of Reducing Offending in the NI Department of Justice.
Nina Champion joined the CJA as Director in July 2018. One of CJA's strategic areas of focus is improving scrutiny and accountability across the CJS. Nina had previously been Head of Policy at Prisoners’ Education Trust where she set up the Prisoner Learning Alliance. She began her career as a criminal defence solicitor and then ran various prevention, rehabilitation and resettlement projects for Catch 22, Prisoners Advice and Care Trust and Women in Prison. Nina has a master’s degree in Government, Policy and Politics and has worked in parliament. In 2018 Nina was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship where she travelled to the United States and around Europe to research prison university partnerships and lived experience leadership. Nina currently sits on the ministerial Advisory Board for Female Offenders and the HMPPS Service User Advisory Group.
Paula Harriott is Head of Prisoner Involvement at Prison Reform Trust (PRT). She leads on integrating prisoner voice and experience into the work of PRT, influencing policy, design, delivery and evaluation of services that affect those in the criminal justice system and seeks to ensure that all policy and advocacy positions and recommendations from PRT are informed by lived experience insight. She leads the Prisoner Policy Network, a national framework for involving prisoners in policy and delivery of services. She is a Trustee of the Community Chaplaincy Association. She was previously Head of Involvement at Revolving Doors Agency 2015-2107, Head of Programmes at User Voice 2010-2015. Her current passion for working with excluded members of the community on a diverse range of issues stems from personal experiences as a prisoner 2004-2012. Her professional work on diversity, equality and inclusion stems from lived experience of the criminal justice system.
Soruche Saajedi joined Prison Reform Trust in 2018 having graduated from University of Sheffield in Social Policy before doing a Masters in Public Policy at University of Bristol. Since then he’s been travelling around England and Wales conducting national consultations on prison policy issues, visiting over 60 different prisons in the last two years (some multiple times), and speaking to thousands of prisoners, ex-prisoners, family members and staff.”
John Sinclair is National Manager for Prison Programmes at the New Zealand Howard League for Penal Reform, and Chair of the Yoga Education in Prisons Trust. He is also owner of Mahi Yoga, a yoga studio that focusses on using yoga and meditation to support mental wellbeing. In other lives he has been a Treasury official, a ministerial speechwriter, a published novelist and a visiting fellow at a Northern Chinese social sciences academy. He has worked extensively in mental health and education and is parent to a teenage son.
Khatuna Tsintsadze is a Co-director of the Zahid Mubarek Trust. Previously Khatuna held a senior position within a national human rights organisation in Georgia, providing legal aid and advocacy to the victims of human rights abuse and discrimination. In parallel, Khatuna worked as a human rights expert on a number of international projects led by the OSCE/ODIHR, Council of Europe and the European Commission. She has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York, studying international human rights work. Khatuna holds an MA in Media Management from Tbilisi State University and is currently enrolled on an MSt course in Criminology, Penology and Management at the University of Cambridge.
Charlotte Weinberg is Director of Safe Ground since September 2010. Safe Ground design and deliver therapeutic group work programmes using the arts in prison and community settings nationally. Charlie has worked with groups of children, young people, adult men and women and staff across the custodial estate since 2009. Safe Ground's focus is on relationships; systems, structures, power and identities and the ways in which all of these interact and combine, particularly in the context of prison. Safe Ground has a delivery role in the project and will be using 'ethnodrama' (Tomczak) to develop input with people in prison as the project progresses.
Matt Woodhead is the Co-Artistic Director of LUNG. Founded in Barnsley in 2012, LUNG is a campaign led verbatim theatre company that tours work nationally and uses verbatim theatre to make hidden voices heard. As a director/writer, Matt makes politically engaged work as a vehicle for social change.
Dr Miranda Davies is Senior Fellow at the Nuffield Trust and is the project lead for their prisoner health research work. Her work in this area to date has focused on what can be learned from routine hospital data about prisoners’ use of secondary care services and underlying healthcare needs.
Dr Ada Hui is a sociologist and registered mental health nurse with expertise in institutional injustice amongst marginalised communities. She has worked in a range of mental health settings ranging from community services to high security hospitals. Her interdisciplinary research applies social theory to health and health-related contexts; focusing on people and organisations, with aims to improve experiences and to challenge systemic inequalities through organisational change.
Dr Róisín Mulgrew is a Lecturer Above the Bar, Law School, National University of Ireland, Galway. She has acted as an expert and consultant for international penal policy and rights bodies and projects, including the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the Council of Europe’s Council for Penological Cooperation (PC-CP) and Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Euromed III Justice Project. She co-authored the Council of Europe’s 2012 Recommendation concerning foreign prisoners and the UN Handbook on the International Transfer of Sentenced Persons. She has been a member of the EUROPRIS-CEP Expert Group on Foreign Nationals in Prison and Probation since 2013. Recommendation concerning foreign prisoners and the UN Handbook on the International Transfer of Sentenced Persons. She has been a member of the EUROPRIS-CEP Expert Group on Foreign Nationals in Prison and Probation since 2013.
Dr Mary Rogan is an Associate Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She researches in the area of human rights and oversight in the penal system, prison law and prison policymaking. She is the PI on a project funded by the European Research Council entitled ‘Prisons: the rule of law, accountability and rights’ (PRILA), which examines the legal frameworks, lived experiences, and effects of prison oversight mechanisms. She is the author of Prison Policy in Ireland (Routledge, 2011) and Prison Law (Bloomsbury, 2014). She was appointed by the Irish Minister for Justice and Equality to chair an Implementation and Oversight Group on reforms to penal policy in February 2015, and is a member of the Department of Justice and Equality’s Research Advisory Group. She is also a representative of Ireland on the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation and a Board Member of the Victims’ Rights Alliance.
Nick Hardwick is a Professor in Criminal Justice at the School of Law, Royal Holloway University of London where his research and teaching focus on criminal justice accountability mechanisms, youth custody and parole. He is involved in a range of projects providing support to emerging detention monitoring systems and assessment of places of deprivation of liberty in a variety of different jurisdictions. Nick has had a number of senior roles in the criminal justice system. He was Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales from 2016-2018. From 2010 to 2016 he was HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales and in this role he chaired the UK National Preventive Mechanism, established to meet the UK's obligations arising from the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. He established and led the Independent Police Complaints Commission as its first executive chair from 2003 to 2010. The first half of his career was in the voluntary sector working with young offenders, young homeless people and refugees and asylum seekers. He continues to be involved in a number of charities working in these fields and is a trustee of Prisoners Abroad and the London Housing Foundation, and a patron of the Zahid Mubarek Trust and Unlock.
Dirk van Zyl Smit is Emeritus Professor of Comparative and International Penal Law of the University of Nottingham. He is also Emeritus Professor of Criminology of the University of Cape Town. He was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1973. Dirk’s books include “Life Imprisonment: a Global Human Rights Analysis” (Harvard 2019) and “Principles of European Prison Law and Policy: Penology and Human Rights” (Oxford 2009). He is co-editor of the journal “Punishment and Society” and the author of more than 140 academic articles, books and book chapters. Dirk is actively involved in law reform in several countries.