Chief inspector of prisons in Scotland announces resignation

Wendy Sinclair-Gieben said she will step down from her post with effect from the end of August.

Chief inspector of prisons in Scotland Wendy Sinclair-Gieben announces resignation PA Media

Scotland’s chief inspector of prisons has announced her resignation from the role after six years of service.

Wendy Sinclair-Gieben, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (HMCIPS), said she will step down from her post with effect from the end of August.

She is the eighth chief inspector since the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1980 made the post statutory, and the first woman to have held the position.

Her decision to resign follows a career spanning the fields of immigration, prisons, education, prisoner transport and health.

Ms Sinclair-Gieben previously worked as a prison governor for the HM Prison Service in England from 1998 to 2006.

From 2006 to 2009 she was prison director for HMP Kilmarnock, before becoming a director with Serco in Australia, including at the Wanadoo Reintegration Facility for young men in Perth, Western Australia.

Stephen Sandham, the current deputy chief inspector, will step up to cover the post on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is appointed.

Ms Sinclair-Gieben said: “My aim during my time has been to ensure key issues such as human rights, health, safety and welfare are at the heart of HMIPS scrutiny and providing balanced reporting of those findings.

“I would like to thank my dedicated team for their excellent work which has made a lasting, positive difference to the prison service, bringing a greater structure and rigour to the work of HMIPS.”

Justice secretary Angela Constance said: “I would like to pay tribute and offer my thanks to Wendy Sinclair-Gieben for her long and dedicated career in the justice system.

“Her wealth of experience and deep understanding of prisons has enabled her to recognise and promote the needs of prisons and prisoners.

“The independent scrutiny of prisons is an essential part of our Scottish justice system and I am grateful to Ms Sinclair-Gieben for the commitment she has shown to raising challenging issues in order to improve outcomes for prisons, prisoners and the communities we serve.”

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