PPO publishes Strategic Plan 2019-21

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, Strategic Plan
Download the PPO’s Strategic Plan 2019-21

Today, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s office published its Strategic Plan for 2019-21. The Ombudsman, Sue McAllister CB, said:

“We work in a complex and politically sensitive environment. Our Terms of Reference are very clear and we are proud of our independence and of the commitment of our staff to produce high quality reports at times of high demand. A number of factors have led to more violence in prisons and staff less able to care for prisoners in the way their own policies prescribe, often in spite of their best efforts. These include the influx of psychoactive substances into many prisons and reductions in the numbers of staff across the custodial estate (notwithstanding the recent recruitment drive). These are only two of the challenges whose impact can be seen in the number and nature of the complaints we receive and, we believe, in the persistently high number of deaths in our prisons.

As we begin the 2019-2020 business year, demand for our services remains high and we plan to address this, to do what we can to help reduce the number of people dying in detention, to support work to improve care for those whose deaths are not preventable and to play our part in making detention and community supervision safer and fairer.

The four strategic themes in our Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 have been chosen to contribute to those crucial outcomes.


To improve confidence in our services, we will focus on the impact of our work and the improved outcomes to which we contribute. We will make the right recommendations, ones which reflect what needs to happen and we will do more to make sure that they result in action. We will get better at telling people what we are doing well and at working with all our stakeholders to understand how we can improve our contribution to safer, more decent, services.


We will build on the work we have already done to simplify our processes and increase our productivity. We will empower our staff and encourage and support their professional development so that we can be confident we are doing the right things, in the right way and that what we do can really make a difference.


Perhaps the most important of our strategic themes. The confidence of our stakeholders, of other organisations, of those in detention and their families (and the families of those who have died in custody and secure accommodation) and of all staff is threatened if the work we do, the recommendations that we make, do not have impact. We will be working hard on this in the coming year and beyond, better to understand the barriers to our work having the impact it should. We will work collaboratively and creatively on dismantling those barriers and we will focus on how what we do can really make a difference. We will challenge failure to implement our recommendations and we will celebrate and share the success of those who do act on them.


We will do all of that in the most efficient way, using public money responsibly and having the flexibility and resilience in the PPO team to respond to changes in the demand for our services.”

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, Sue McAllister
Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Sue McAllister CB