HM Chief Inspector of Probation

Paul McDowell, HM Chief Inspector of Probation

Paul McDowell, HM Chief Inspector of Probation

Paul joined the Inspectorate in February 2014 after appointment by the Secretary of State.

Prior to that and since 2009, Paul had been Chief Executive Officer at Nacro, the largest crime reduction charity in the UK. While at Nacro, he implemented the Vision 2015 change programme, resetting the charities strategic priorities, driving efficiencies that delivered year-on-year cost reductions of £1.8 million and ultimately successfully steering Nacro through a challenging period of recession.

From 2006 to 2009, Paul was Governor at HM Prison Brixton. Throughout this period, he developed a successful violence reduction strategy that led to halving of assault rates. He also had considerable success in challenging cultural attitudes related to issues of diversity. This achievement was recognised by the Commission for Racial Equality.

He was previously Prison Governor at HM Prison Coldingley from 2003 to 2006. During this time, Paul remodelled and configured management responsibilities and targeted the prison’s focus towards key resettlement work, such as devising the STEPs resettlement project. This scheme aimed to galvanise partnerships between the prison and employers, leading to employment on release for offenders.

Paul has a Masters in Criminology and Prison Studies from the University of Cambridge and a Diploma in Criminal Justice from UCE Birmingham.

He is a Fellow of the RSA, Trustee of the Eisenhower Foundation in Washington DC, and a Trustee of the Prison Radio Association.