Left to right- Paul Leighton, Fergus McNeill, Clodach McGrory, Justice Minister David Ford, Dame Anne Owers and Phil Wheatley
Dame Anne Owers was appointed HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales between 1 August 2001 and 14 July 2010. From 1992 to 2001, Anne was Director of Justice. During that time she was a member of various Government committees including the Home Office Task Force on the implementation of the Human Rights Act and the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct. She carried out work on human rights, asylum and the provision of legal services, becoming a member of both the Public Interest Advisory Panel of the Legal Services Commission and the Bowman Review of the Administrative Courts. She is also a non-executive director of the Criminal Cases Review Commission in England and Wales, and the chair of Christian Aid Britain and Ireland.
She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2009 New Year honours list.
Phil read Law at Sheffield University and on graduating in 1969 joined HM Prison Service as an Officer. He worked in a variety of prisons before becoming Governing Governor of Hull Prison in 1986. In 1990, he moved to HMPS Headquarters where he held a variety of operational management jobs. He was Director General of HMPS from 2003 to 2008, before becoming Director General of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), a post he held until recently. In 2004 he was made a Companion of the Order of Bath (CB).
Fergus is a Professor of Criminology Social Work in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (at the University of Glasgow). Prior to becoming an academic in 1998, he worked for a number of years in residential drug rehabilitation and as a criminal justice social worker. His research interests and publications have addressed a range of criminal justice issues including sentencing, community penalties and youth justice. Latterly his work has focussed on the policy and practice implications of research evidence about the process of desistance from offending.
Paul Leighton retired in 2009 as Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He worked closely with the Chief Constable in providing overall direction to the service. Prior to this he had been an Assistant Chief Constable with the Northumbria Constabulary. In the 2005 Birthday Honours, Paul was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in recognition of his services to policing and he was made a CBE in 2010. Paul is currently Chair of Crimestoppers in NI, a regional Board member of the Prince’s Trust and an Advisory Board member for Childline and NSPCC. In 2009 he was appointed by the Home Secretary to sit on the Hillsborough Independent panel dealing with issues arising from the Hillsborough football tragedy in which 96 people died in 1989.
Clodach practiced at the Bar in Northern Ireland from 1990 to 1995 and subsequently worked at the Law Centre (NI). She was a member of the Standing Advisory Commission on Human rights from 1998 to 1999 and served on the Irish Human Rights Commission from December 2000 until August 2006. She is currently a part-time Chairperson of Social Security Appeal Tribunals and is also a Parole Commissioner. She is a Sentence Review Commissioner from 1998.