Welcome to the PPO

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) carries out independent investigations into deaths and complaints in custody. The detailed role and responsibilities of the PPO are set out in his office’s Terms of Reference. The PPO has two main duties:

  •  to investigate complaints made by prisoners, young people in detention (prisons and secure training centres), offenders under probation supervision and immigration detainees
  •  to investigate deaths of prisoners, young people in detention, approved premises’ residents and immigration detainees due to any cause, including any apparent suicides and natural causes.

The purpose of these investigations is to understand what happened, to correct injustices and to identify learning for the organisations whose actions we oversee so that the PPO makes a significant contribution to safer, fairer custody and offender supervision.

Latest news

  • Annual feedback survey

    We are committed to improving our performance. Knowing how we are perceived by our various stakeholders plays an important part in this. I am therefore inviting you to complete our annual stakeholder survey. This is a short online survey about … Continued

  • Ombudsman addresses prison doctors

    The Ombudsman recently spoke to a British Medical Association arranged conference for prison doctors. He focused, in particular, on learning from PPO death in custody investigations. Read the speech here.          

  • Ombudsman speaks to All Party Penal Affairs Group

    The Ombudsman, together with Lord Toby Harris, chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on deaths in custody, spoke to the All Party Penal Affairs Group in the House of Commons on 21 October. The focus of the Ombudsman’s talk was … Continued

  • Updated guidance for clinical reviews

    Key evidence in the PPO investigation into deaths in prisons, young offenders institutions and immigration removal centres is the review of the clinical care the deceased received while in the care of the establishment.  In each case, a clinical review … Continued