The Rt Hon Lord Hurd of Westwell CH, CBE

Honorary President

The Rt Hon Lord Woolf of Barnes CH

Lord Woolf was called to the Bar in 1955 and from 1973-74 was junior counsel, Inland Revenue. During this time he represented the Revenue in the majority of their leading cases before the High Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. In 1974 Lord Woolf was appointed first Treasury Counsel (Common Law) which he held for five years. In 1979 he was appointed to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, was made Lord Justice of Appeal in 1986, and Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 1992. Between 1996 and 2000 he was Master of the Rolls.  He was appointed Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales in 2000-2005 and retired in September 2005. He was a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong in 2003 to 2012 and was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in recognition of his services.  He was  the  first President of the Qatar Financial Centre Civil and Commercial Court, serving from 2006 to 2012 and Chair of the Prison Reform Trust from 2011 to 2016.  In addition Lord Woolf has served as Chairman of Judges for the FIRST Responsible Capitalism Awards. 

Lord Woolf has served on a number of House of Lords Committees and is a current member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. He has been Patron of the Woolf Institute, which promotes inter-faith understanding, since 1998. He holds honorary degrees from 22 universities and in 2015 he was awarded a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen.


James Timpson OBE

James is Chief Executive of the family retail business since 2003, growing the Manchester based business from 180 to 1500 shops that trade under the Timpson, Snappy Snaps and Max Spielmann brands.  10% of their colleagues were recruited direct from prison, making Timpson the largest employer of ex-offenders in the UK.  The Timpson Foundation’s work with offenders has led to numerous Academies being set up within prisons to train offenders pre-release.  James is Founding Chair of the Employers Forum for Reducing Reoffending and supported the Coates Review into prison education reform, as well as working with employers, schools and officials to further the employment of offenders.  He was Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Newcastle University Business School, and is a Manchester City fan.

Deputy Chair

Viscountess Runciman DBE

Dame Ruth Runciman was Chair of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust from 2001 -13, and is Deputy Chair of the Prison Reform Trust of which she was a founding Trustee. From 1974-1995, Ruth was a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs where she chaired several Working Groups including those that produced reports on AIDS and drug misuse, and drug misuse and the criminal justice system. 

She was Chair of the UK Drug Policy Commission from 2007 – 13.

She was Chair of the National AIDS Trust from 2000 – 2006.

Ruth was Chair of the Independent Working Group on Drug Consumption Rooms (2004-2006) which produced the publication Independent Inquiry into Drug Consumption Rooms in 2006.

She was also Chair of the Police Foundation Independent Inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (1997-2000) which produced the report Drugs and the Law in 2000. 

From 1994-1998 she was Chair of the Mental Health Act Commission. In her CAB career she set up a Citizens Bureau Advice Service in Wormwood Scrubs in 1989 which was the first full-time CAB in any prison in the UK.


Elizabeth Rantzen

Alongside a career largely forged in corporate strategy and commercial law firm management, Elizabeth has spent over 25 years on charity boards, most significantly in the homelessness sector including Shelter, where she chaired the finance committee for a number of years.  Her first degree was in Physics and she has an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France.  She was director of the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust for eight years and now holds a number of roles include vice chair of West London Mental Health Trust and lay member in the Employment Tribunal.


Colin Allen

Colin Allen is a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust and the Prisoners Advice and Care Trust. Born 1942 in London. Educated at St Edmund's College, seminary. Left before ordination. Married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Worked as voluntary youth leader in East End of London. Joined Prison Service as Assistant Governor, Lowdham Grange Borstal (1965), Deputy Governor Feltham Borstal (1971), Governor Huntercombe Borstal (1977), Governor Maidstone Prison (1981), Governor Holloway Prison (1985), Team Leader - Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (1989), Deputy Chief Inspector (1995). Retired 2002. As a member of the International Centre for Prison Studies, worked on prison improvement projects in Brazil and Algeria before involvement in a similar long-term project in Libya. Regrettably this came to an end soon after the 2011 revolution since when anarchy has reigned in prisons across that country. He has supported Arsenal Football Club since he was five.


Ben Crewe

Dr. Ben Crewe has been at the Institute of Criminology since 2001, initially as a Nuffield Foundation New Career Development Fellow, and subsequently as a Senior Research Associate. He is currently Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre and Director of the MSt Penology Programme. From October 2015, he will hold a University Readership in Penology.

Ben is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology, Palgrave Communications and the Prison Service Journal. He is an International Associate Board member of Punishment and Society, and is one of the series editors of Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology (with Yvonne Jewkes and Thomas Ugelvik).

Current research projects include an ESRC-funded study of prisoners serving very long sentences from an early age (with Susie Hulley and Serena Wright), a NOMS-funded study of the role of prison governors, and - from September 2015 - a five-year, €2 million research project titled 'Penal policymaking and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis', which will involve extensive fieldwork in England & Wales and one of the Nordic countries.


Rt Hon Lord Bradley

Keith Bradley was first elected to the House of Commons in 1987, having served as a councillor on Manchester City Council since 1983. After the 1997 general election he became a junior minister at the Department of Social Security, and then became Deputy Chief Whip and Treasurer of the Queen's Household in 1998. He was Minister of State at the Home Office for Criminal Justice, Sentencing, and Law Reform from 2001-2, and then a member of the Health Select Committee. He is a member of the Privy Council. Keith Bradley  become a working life peer in the House of Lords, as Baron Bradley, of Withington in the County of Greater Manchester on 12 June 2006. Lord Bradley is an honorary special advisor at the University of Manchester, a non-executive director of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, and a Trustee of the Centre for Mental health. In December 2007 the Government invited Lord Bradley to lead an independent inquiry into diversion of offenders with mental health problems or learning disabilities away from prison into other more appropriate services. The report makes recommendations on the organisation of effective court liaison and diversion arrangements and the services required to support them.


Geoff Dobson OBE

Geoff Dobson was chief probation officer of Hertfordshire Probation Service from 1989-2001 and in 1999 was elected by his peers as chair of the Association of Chief Officers of Probation (ACOP).  He had started his career as a probation officer with the Inner London Probation Service, where he held various management posts including warden of a probation and bail hostel and deputy chief with operational responsibility for services in all inner London boroughs south of the Thames. He co-founded and was treasurer of the Hackney and City of London Victim Support Scheme.  From 2001 to 2012 he was deputy director of the Prison Reform Trust, serving as company secretary and clerk to the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group. He was a founding director of the Criminal Justice Alliance and has on several occasions been a guest inspector with HM Inspectorate of Prisons.  He is currently a trustee of the Restorative Justice Council and the Butler Trust.  In 2001 Geoff was awarded an OBE for his services to ACOP.


Dr Carlene Firmin MBE

Dr Carlene Firmin MBE is a social policy researcher committed to generating evidence on inequality, social justice, and the protection of children and young people.  Carlene is currently senior research fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, where she leads their work on peer-on-peer abuse and has developed frameworks to contextualise safeguarding policy and practice. From 2011 – 2014 Carlene reviewed cases of peer-on-peer abuse and exploitation her doctoral research and has since used the findings to develop practice through in-depth support to 11 local safeguarding children boards across England, including peer group mapping, cross-border contextual profiling, neighbourhood intervention and studying young people who sexually harm in groups. Since this work has commenced interest in contextual safeguarding frameworks has increased and the work has been used the work to review cases, train practitioners and/or provide strategic advice to professionals in over 70 local authorities in England. Prior to joining the University of Bedfordshire Carlene worked for eight years as a policy advisor within civil society and statutory organisations, influencing strategy and practice to safeguard young people, including as Assistant Director at Barnardo’s and the Principal Policy Advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner Inquiry to child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups. As well as being a Trustee for the Prison Reform Trust she also chairs their national advisory group for reducing women’s imprisonment. She sits on multiple national and Pan-London strategic boards concerned with safeguarding children and young people and has published multiple articles in national newspapers, journals and books. In 2011 Carlene received a MBE for services to women and girls issues. 


The Rt Hon Sir Edward Garnier QC

Sir Edward Garnier was the Conservative MP for Harborough April 1992-June 2017. Called to the Bar 1976; Northern Ireland Bar 2010; Queen’s Counsel: 1995, Crown Court Recorder: 1998-2015; Bencher of the Middle Temple: 2001; Bencher Northern Ireland Inn of Court: 2010. He practises as a defamation and media law, international human rights law and corporate crime specialist from 1 Brick Court, Temple, and is a consultant to DLA Piper LLP. Visiting Parliamentary Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford: 1996-97. Member of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee: 1992-1994. Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to the Attorney General and Solicitor General, and to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: 1994-97.Shadow Minister, Lord Chancellor's Department: 1997-99; Shadow Attorney General: 1999-2001; Shadow Home Affairs Minister: 2005-07; Shadow Justice Minister: 2007-09; Shadow Attorney General: 2009-10. HM Solicitor General: 2010-12. Member of the Lords and Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights 2013-15. Knighted 2012. Privy Council 2015.


Dame Audrey Glover

After reading law at King’s College, London, Audrey was called to the Bar where she practiced before  joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a legal adviser. During her FCO career she was the UK Agent before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights. She was later seconded with the rank of Ambassador to the post of Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

In 1998 Audrey left the ODIHR to become the Leader of the UK Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission, a post she held for 6 years. She became the  Human Rights Adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq and  helped to  create and advise the Ministry of Human Rights. Since 2004 she has headed 16 election observation missions on behalf of the OSCE including the Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine (2012) Mongolia (2013) Hungary (2014)  Bulgaria (2014) and Albania (2015) and was co-leader for the Carter Centre Presidential  elections in Tunisia in 2014  and Guyana (2015).

Audrey is a Trustee of the UK Prison Reform Trust, and an Adviser to the British Institute for Human Rights  More recently, she  became an advisory member of the Board of Gender Action  for Peace and Security. She has formed the Chronus Mediationi Advisory Group to help resolve conflict through mediation. She is also on the UN Mediation Roster and  a Fellow of the Institute of Stability and Transition in Washington

Audrey is an experienced international lawyer, specialising in human rights law and its application, international election monitoring, gender equality and problem resolution.  She received a DBE in 2005.


Dr Ann Hagell

Dr Ann Hagell is Research Lead at the Association for Young People's Health in London.  AYPH seeks to raise the profile and understanding of young people's health needs, and to support professionals in the field.  Ann is a chartered psychologist and has published widely on topics relating to young people's wellbeing.  She studied for her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, was a Fulbright Scholar in the USA, and has a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  She has worked with a range of universities, think-tanks and funders over the past 25 years and is committed to making research findings relevant and useful to policy and practice.  She is Consulting Editor of the Journal of Adolescence, and prior to working with AYPH she ran the Changing Adolescence programme at the Nuffield Foundation (2006-2012).  She is also a professional advisor to the Research in Practice Partnership Board.


Erwin James Monahan

Erwin James Monahan is an author, a Guardian columnist and editor of Inside Time, the national newspaper for people in prison. He became a writer whilst serving life imprisonment and was released after serving20 years. He went to prison an inarticulate and ill-educated individual with, in his own words, “massive failings to overcome.”

After some encouragement from a prison psychologist called Joan Branton he embarked on a programme of part-time education. Six years later he graduated with the Open University, gaining an arts degree majoring in History. His first article for a national newspaper, The Independent, appeared in 1994. In 1995 he won first prize in the annual Koestler Awards for prose. His first article in The Guardian newspaper appeared in 1998 and he began writing a regular column for the paper entitled A Life Inside in 2000. A year after his release from prison in 2004 he became a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust and in September 2009 he became a trustee of the Alternatives to Violence Project Britain. He is a patron of a number of offender rehabilitation charities, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (FRSA) and an Honorary Master of the Open University.


Michelle Nelson

Michelle Nelson is a barrister, who both defends and prosecutes. She has defended in cases from theft to child cruelty and prosecuted violence, drug supply and importation. She is on the Attorney General’s List and has been instructed to prosecute in large frauds and large-scale money laundering cases on their behalf. She prosecutes for the Serious Fraud office, including acting for them in relation to a Microsoft copyright fraud. Her work includes dealing with restraint and confiscation and she has worked at the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office advising on and pursuing restraint and forfeiture. In 2004, she spent three months in Jamaica defending in capital murder cases. She advises the Attorney General on and has represented the Attorney General in the Court of Appeal in unduly lenient sentence appeals. Michelle is a trustee of the board of the Prison Reform Trust. In this capacity she works to encourage reform of the prison system, whether by reducing the prison population or better providing for those in custody. Specifically, she advises on legal issues relevant to reform for example, the effect of IPP sentences. 


Junior Smart

Junior Smart was employed by St Giles Trust in 2006 where he set up the SOS Project as an ex-offender led gangs intervention project offering intensive, tailored one-to-one support for young people caught up in the negative vortex of gangs and weapons crime. Initially started as a small south London pilot, SOS has grown over the years to become London’s largest ex-offender gangs project; with a footprint across the capital helping over 600 young people annually to break free from gang, gun and knife crime and lead positive, productive lives in the community. Junior and his team have won multiple awards including The Charity Awards 2014, The Third Sector Excellence Awards 2011, the Centre for Social Justice Awards 2010 and The South London Press Awards 2008 to name a few. Junior was listed in the Evening Standard’s list of 1000 Influential Londoners in 2014 and 2015 in recognition of his campaigning work around the issue of London’s gang problem. Junior holds a first class BA Hons in Youth Work and a distinction in his MA in Youth Crime and Justice. He also holds numerous other qualifications in areas including conflict resolution, youth work, gangs work and substance misuse and is an accredited PTTLS trainer.

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