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by Jenni Davidson
24 May 2018
First female chief inspector of prisons for Scotland appointed

First female chief inspector of prisons for Scotland appointed

A prison officer enters a wing of a prison - Image credit: PA Images

A woman has been appointed as the most senior inspector of Scotland’s prisons for the first time.

Wendy Sinclair-Gieben will take over the role of HM chief inspector of prisons for Scotland from former police chief constable David Strang, who has held the post since 2013.

Sinclair-Gieben has a background in the justice system in both the UK and Australia.

She began working as a prison governor for the prison service in England between 1998 and 2006.

From 2006 to 2009 she was the prison director of HMP Kilmarnock, before moving to Australia, where she become a director with Serco, working at locations including the Wanadoo Reintegration Facility for young male offenders in Perth, Western Australia.

Announcing the appointment, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Wendy Sinclair-Gieben brings a wealth of experience in the justice sector, a deep understanding of prisons and the wider justice context, and a commitment to a public sector ethos.

“I look forward to working with her.”

The Justice Secretary also paid tribute to the work of David Strang and thanked him for his “tireless work” as HMCIPS over the past five years.

“David has paved the way for the introduction of independent prison monitors, the establishment of standards for inspecting court custody provision, and recognising and promoting the needs of vulnerable groups of prisoners,” Matheson said.

“He has also made a positive contribution to the wider debate on progressive justice reform and I wish him every success for the future.”

Sinclair-Gieben said: "I am delighted to be appointed to this exciting post. 

“I see this role as a culmination of a long and rewarding career in justice and I particularly look forward to building on my predecessor’s significant achievements in the future."

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