The Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon. David Gauke MP, confirmed today that his candidate to be the next Chief Inspector of Probation is Justin Russell – currently Director General responsible for No Deal EU exit planning at the Ministry of Justice.
Justin has been selected following a rigorous assessment process conducted in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. A panel of four, including two external interviewers, assessed all the candidates and put forward to the Secretary of State those who passed the high bar for consideration for this role.
The Secretary of State has invited the Justice Select Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing. Pre-appointment scrutiny is an important part of the appointment process for some of the most significant public appointments made by Ministers. It is designed to provide an added level of scrutiny to the appointment process.
Pre-appointment hearings are held in public and allow a Select Committee to take evidence before a candidate is appointed. Ministers consider the Committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.
The current Chief Inspector of Probation, Dame Glenys Stacey, has agreed to continue in the post until 31 May, when, subject to the pre-appointment hearing, Justin Russell is expected to take over the role. He will resign from the Ministry of Justice and from the Civil Service before taking up post.
HM Inspectorate of Probation
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation leads HM Inspectorate of Probation, which is the independent source of fair comment for ministers and the public on the effectiveness of the work of probation and youth offending services.HM Inspectorate of Probation produces and publishes reports on individual probation service areas as well as on thematic topics such as the way probation works with sex offenders, or the role and effectiveness of Approved Premises. The Chief Inspector also publishes an annual report. More information on HM Inspectorate of Probation can be found here: www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation
Justin Russell has spent over thirty years working on a wide range of criminal justice issues as a researcher, policy maker and major programme leader and has a long-standing interest and involvement in probation and youth justice policy. This has included working as a Policy Special Adviser to Home Secretaries John Reid and Jack Straw and in the No10 Policy Unit, as well as heading up the Home Office’s Violent Crime Unit from 2008 to 2012, where he led the production of the 2009 and 2011 Violence Against Women and Girls strategies and the Tackling Knives and Ending Gang and Youth Violence Programmes. Until recently, he was Director General for Justice Analysis and Offender Policy at the Ministry of Justice where he led the prison, probation and youth justice reform programmes. He has also worked for the Audit Commission and Mental Health Foundation and was a non-executive Director of Turning Point from 2005 to 2011.
Pre-appointment hearings involve select committees taking evidence from the preferred candidate for certain public appointments before they are confirmed. Following the public hearings, committees usually publish a report setting out their views on the candidate’s suitability for the post.
Pre-appointment hearings are non-binding but Ministers will consider the committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with an appointment.
All appointments are made on merit.