Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Prisons in England and Wales: governance, service delivery and priorities for reform

Thursday, 20th April 2017

The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR


This seminar will bring together policymakers with stakeholders to consider the future for prison reform in England and Wales.

The discussion is timed as Government takes forward key measures outlined in its recent Prison Safety and Reform White Paper - including proposals to invest in estate modernisation, publish prison performance data, and deliver greater Governor autonomy - and will bring out latest thinking on their long term implications for standards, governance and safety across the prison estate. It also takes place as policymakers launch a new offender management service in April - Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, which will be responsible for rolling out Government's reform programme, and as the Justice Committee's takes forward a series of inquiries into the policy area.

Sessions are expected to focus on:

  • The custodial estate: improving facilities and addressing overcrowding, as Government takes forward a £1.3bn programme of investment;
  • The prison workforce: commitments to recruit 2,500 new prison officers by 2018, proposals for a new apprenticeship scheme, and recently announced pay increases for specialist officers and new recruits;
  • Increased powers for prison governors: implications for driving standards, accountability, and improving the future commissioning of health, education and resettlement services;
  • Assessment and oversight: assessing the future use of performance measures and prison league tables;
  • Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service: priorities ahead for the new agency, including options for improving integrated offender management from custody to community;
  • Tackling criminality in prison: looking in particular at new proposals to tackle drug abuse, gang violence and extremism; and
  • Meeting the needs of service users: next steps for improving the rehabilitation of offenders from within custody.

This conference will bring together members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with prison governors and staff representatives, local government officials, service and outsourcing providers, charities, employers, training providers, health practitioners and service-user networks, as well as academics and reporters from the national and trade press.

Guest of Honour

Bob Neill MP

Chair, Justice Select Committee

Guest of Honour

Bob Neill MP

Chair, Justice Select Committee

Keynote Speaker

Juliet Lyon

Chair, Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody


Keith Vaz MP

Member, Justice Committee

Lord Ramsbotham

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Penal Affairs


Ann Norman

Professional Lead for Justice and Forensic Nursing, Royal College of Nursing

John Attard

National Officer, Prison Governors Association

Peter Clarke

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Ian Lawrence

General Secretary, Napo

Jeremy Crook

Director, Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG)

Pamela Dow

Director of Development, Prison and Probation Reform, New Futures Network

Peter Cox

Managing Director, Novus, LTEgroup

Steve Gillan

General Secretary, POA

Richard Steer

Chairman, Gleeds