Prison Reform Trust staff

Director and Company Secretary - Peter Dawson

Peter Dawson is Director of the Prison Reform Trust. Peter spent the first 15 years of his career working in the Home Office in a variety of policy and managerial roles. This included two spells in the then Prison Department, culminating in a period on the Prisons Board.  He left Whitehall in 1999 to pursue a career within the operational arm of the Prison Service, working as a prison officer in HMP Brixton before returning there as Deputy Governor in 2002, and subsequently governing both HMP Downview (then a prison for women) and HMP High Down between 2005 and 2012. While at High Down, he oversaw the opening of the first “Clink” restaurant, and the prison became a centre for innovation, hosting new projects such as the Restore programme run by The Forgiveness Project.

In 2012, Peter left the public sector to join Sodexo Justice Services, and led the operational design and mobilisation of the company’s successful bids to run new community rehabilitation companies in 6 different regions. Peter spent 7 years as a Trustee for the Kenward Trust, a Kent based charity dedicated to the care of people with substance misuse problems, and is Patron of the Michael Varah Memorial Fund, a small grant giving charity. He also acted as an adviser to the Correctional Services of South Africa for a short period in 2003.


Administrator and Executive Support - Amy Brownrigg


Administrator - Zoe Burton


Head of Finance & Human Resources - Sam O'Sullivan


Development Manager - Charlotte Story

Charlotte Story MInstF (Cert) is the development manager at the Prison Reform Trust. Her main role is relationship managing and fundraising from Trusts, Foundations and individuals and managing the Friends scheme. Prior to this role Charlotte worked on the advice and information service at PRT, responding to queries from and advocating on behalf of prisoners. Charlotte has over 15 years experience of working in the voluntary sector with a focus on criminal justice, with previous roles at Prisoners’ Families and Friends Service, managing volunteers supporting families at courts and running the Witness Service in a magistrates’ court for Victim Support. Charlotte volunteered as an appropriate adult for seven years and currently volunteers in her local community garden and is the secretary of the parent and teacher association at a local school.


Head of Policy & Communications - Mark Day

Mark Day is head of policy and communications at the Prison Reform Trust. Previously he was deputy director of Progress and also deputy editor of Progress Magazine. Before that he was head of communications at the international thinktank Policy Network. Mark has worked in Parliament as a researcher for a Labour MP and also in the parliamentary office of the lobby group Stonewall. He is a trustee of the charity Unlock.


Senior Policy & Communications Officer - Alex Hewson

Alex Hewson is Senior Policy and Communications Officer at the Prison Reform Trust. He has previously worked in the Ministry of Justice's Women's Policy Team and in Parliament. He has responsibility for producing the Prison Reform Trust's Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile, and supporting work with the media and policy development.


Data and Communications Officer - Dr Matt Halliday


Policy Officer - Marc Conway


Publishing Manager - Tony Callaghan

Tony Callaghan joined the Prison Reform Trust in 2005 as publishing manager. He took on the IT responsibilities in 2007. Previously he was promotions manager at Index on Censorship a small organisation campaigning against censorship and promoting free expression. Tony holds qualifications in editing and proofreading, design and digital marketing.


Head of Research - Dr Kimmett Edgar

Dr Kimmett Edgar is head of research, having previously been senior research officer at the Oxford Centre for Criminological Research. His major work, Prison Violence: the dynamics of conflict, fear and power, explored the roots of prison violence in conflicts among prisoners. He is also co-author, with Tim Newell, of Restorative Justice in Prisons (2006). At the Prison Reform Trust, Kimmett has managed studies on race equality, mental health, financial exclusion, resettlement, prison councils, and active citizenship. He is a member of the Northern Ireland Ministerial Forum on Safer Custody; Quaker Representative to the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; on the Perrie Lectures Committee; and a former chair of the Alternatives to Violence Project. He plays for Cuxham Cricket Club and sings in the LSO St Luke’s Community Choir.


Research Officer - Dr Mia Harris


Head of Prisoner Engagement - Paula Harriott

Paula was previously Head of Involvement at Revolving Doors Agency 2015–2107, where she provided consultancy to two Big Lottery programmes on service user involvement, as well as supporting the active involvement of the Lived Experience Team in the national Liaison and Diversion service. As Head of Programmes at User Voice 2010-2015 she led on development of  service user involvement in prison and probation, as well as forensic mental health services. She is a steering group member of Agenda, the coalition that seeks to support women and girls at risk and is a passionate advocate for highlighting the inequalities that affect vulnerable people in the criminal justice system and a trustee of the Community Chaplaincy Association.

Her passion for working with excluded members of the community stems from personal experiences as a prisoner 2004-2012. Her personal experiences and associated research – The experience of being a female prisoner Listener, a qualitative study submitted as part of a post graduate diploma in integrative psychotherapy, and The Health Needs of Women Offenders in Resettlement, commissioned by HOB PCT – sharpened her commitment to raising awareness of the issues faced by prisoners and to campaign and proactively deliver services which support both prisoners and ex-offenders to progress personally and strategically past the stigma of imprisonment and multiple exclusion.


Prison Engagement Officer - Soruche Saajedi


Prison Engagement London Regional Co-ordinator - Zahid Bashir


Advice & Information Service Manager - Ryan Harman

Ryan manages the Prison Reform Trust’s Advice and Information team, which is a small service for prisoners to access information on prison rules, prison conditions and life in prison. Prior to joining PRT in 2015 Ryan managed the delivery of resettlement services in prisons for St Giles Trust, including the Housing Information and Advice Service (HIAS) in HMP Wandsworth as well as some services implemented under the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda. Ryan also spent about 5 years working for frontline homeless services in London, offering advice and support for vulnerable people looking for accommodation and employment.


Advice & Information Officer - Ghazala Ashraf


Advice & Information Officer - Lynn Beckwith


Project Director, Building Futures - David Maguire


Research Officer, Building Futures - Claudia Vince


Administrator, Building Futures - Kelly Gleeson

Kelly joined the Prison Reform Trust as a trainee advice and information officer while on release on temporary licence from HMP East Sutton Park, before joining the Building Futures team in 2020. In prison, Kelly worked with One Small Thing to become a healing trauma facilitator, and as a Listener with the Samaritans. She was also a peer advisor for people during their early days in custody. Finally, while in prison Kelly worked with Prison Me No Way, delivering workshops to children aged 11 to 16, alongside ex-prison officers. In the community, she has built on this work through adverse childhood experience facilitator training. She previously worked for a housing association as a link worker to support people with convictions, and is passionate about improving prisons for people serving long sentences.


Director, Care not Custody programme - Jenny Talbot OBE

Jenny Talbot joined the Prison Reform Trust in 2006 to manage the No One Knows programme, which explored the prevalence and experiences of adult offenders with learning disabilities and difficulties. A series of research reports were published during this three year programme, together with recommendations for policy and practice – a number of which have been adopted. Jenny is director of the Prison Reform Trust’s Care not Custody programme, which is concerned with people with mental health problems and learning disabilities in contact with criminal justice services as suspects, defendants and offenders. The programme, which is chaired by Lord Bradley, has a particular interest in the development of liaison and diversion services, and the government’s commitment for all police custody suites and criminal courts in England to have access to such services. Jenny is a member of the NICE Guidelines Development Group on the mental health of adults in the criminal justice system, and a member of the PACE Vulnerable Adults Working Group. For three years Jenny chaired the National Appropriate Adult Network, stepping down in November 2015.  In June 2011 Jenny received an OBE in recognition of her work on behalf of offenders with special needs in the criminal justice system.


Director, Reducing Women's Imprisonment - Dr Jenny Earle

Jenny Earle leads the programme to reduce women’s imprisonment at The Prison Reform Trust, supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Before joining the PRT in September 2012, she was senior legal policy analyst at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, where she specialised in gender equality, led the Commission’s work on CEDAW and prepared codes and guidance under the Equality Act 2010. Jenny has led on equality and justice issues in both government and community organisations in the UK and Australia, where early in her career she served on a Women in Prison Taskforce. She has been a senior research officer in the Women’s Equality Unit, Cabinet Office, and director of the Work and Family Unit in the Australian Government’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. In March 2018 Jenny was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University for public service, particularly services to women’s rights. Her article about the programme she leads, Why focus on reducing women’s imprisonment, is published in Women and the Criminal Justice System: failing Victims and Offenders? edited by Milne E, et al, Palgrave Macmillan (2018).


Senior Programme Manager, Reducing Women's Imprisonment - Katy Swaine Williams

Having started as a solicitor in the private sector, Katy has now spent over 15 years in senior voluntary sector roles in the fields of criminal justice and social policy, human rights and equality, with a particular emphasis on improving responses to children and women. Her past roles include Head of Legal Services at the drugs charity Release (2003–2007) and Legal Director at the Children's Rights Alliance for England (2007–2010).  Katy has since worked in a number of roles for the Prison Reform Trust, including Head of Outreach (2010-13) and Care Review Co-ordinator (2015–16), in which she assisted Lord Laming with his independent review of looked after children in the criminal justice system. 

Since joining PRT’s Transforming Lives team in 2017, Katy has led on developing proposed new legal protection for women whose offending is driven by their experience of domestic abuse, and developing the London Blueprint for Women in Contact with the Criminal Justice System.  Katy recently took on a part-time project for London charity Advance, to research and write a report entitled ‘A Place to Go Like This’ about the statutory and voluntary sector response to mothers involved in offending who are survivors of domestic abuse, and their children.

Katy is married with two children.


Communications and Support Officer - Emily Evison

Prior to her role at PRT Emily studied MSc Criminal Justice Policy at LSE. Emily mentored at PLIAS Resettlement Ltd. for a number of years, a charity which supports ex-offenders to resettle into communities. Emily is now the Support and Communications Officer for the Transforming Lives programme at PRT, which aims to reduce the number of women in prison.


Senior Associate - John Drew CBE

John Drew is a senior associate of the Prison Reform Trust, a board member of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice (a membership body representing 60 organisations working to improve the youth justice system, and chair of the Criminal Justice Alliance, which fulfils a similar function principally in respect of adult criminal justice. John is an independent safeguarding scrutineer of Cookham Wood Young Offender Institution and chair of the Management Board that oversees youth offending services in Surrey. John recently conducted a Serious Case Review for the Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Partnership into the murder of a criminally exploited child. A social worker by origins, John Drew was Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales from 2009 to 2013 and prior to that worked for a decade as a Director of Social Services in east London.