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

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    Learning Lessons Bulletin on Traveller deaths in prison

    Prisons need to be more aware of the higher risk of suicide and the prevalence of ill health among Travellers, said Nigel Newcomen, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO). Today he published a bulletin on the lessons that can be … Continued

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    Ombudsman hosts anniversary seminars

    To mark the 20th anniversary of his office independently investigating complaints (and the 10th anniversary of investigating deaths in custody), the Ombudsman held three seminars in 2014 to help NOMS learn lessons from PPO investigations. The theme of the seminars … 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