His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons

His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons is the head of HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the senior inspector of prisons, young offender institutions and immigration service detention and removal centres in England and Wales. The current chief inspector is Charlie Taylor.

His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons of HM Inspectorate of Prisons
Charlie Taylor
since 2020
TypeSenior inspector of prisons in England and Wales
AppointerBritish Justice Secretary
Formation1 January 1981
First holderPhilip Barry

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons is appointed by the Justice Secretary from outside the prison service for a period of five years. The post was created by royal sign-manual on 1 January 1981 and established by the Criminal Justice Act 1982 on the recommendation of a committee of inquiry into the UK prison service under Justice May.

The chief inspector provides independent scrutiny of detention in England and Wales through carrying out announced and unannounced inspections of detention facilities. Their remit includes prisons, young offenders institutions, police cells and immigration service detention centres. They are also called upon to inspect prison facilities in Commonwealth dependencies and to assist with the monitoring of Northern Ireland prison facilities.

The chief inspector is not operationally part of His Majesty's Prison Service or the Ministry of Justice (United Kingdom), and both have been criticised at times in the reports issued by the chief inspector after prison visits, or in their annual report, delivered to the Justice Secretary and presented to Parliament. The inspectorate's independence has been interpreted differently by the different holders of the post. From the inspectorate of Stephen Tumim onwards, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons has been more willing to speak critically in public of government penal policy.

There is also a separate post of His Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland, and a HM Inspectorate of Probation.

Prisons Act 1835
Act of Parliament
Citation5 & 6 Will. 4. c. 38

The Prisons Act 1835[1] was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that introduced five paid prison inspectors.

HM Chief Inspectors of Prisons edit

External links edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by the Short Titles Act 1896, section 1 and the first schedule. Due to the repeal of those provisions it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.