MoJ perm sec shakes up HMPPS leadership

Probation DG gets promotion as focus moves to frontline services
Photo: MoJ

The head of the Probation Service has been promoted to chief executive of HM Prison and Probation Service as part of a reorganisation the Ministry of Justice says will increase its focus on frontline services.

Amy Rees, who has been director general of probation, Wales and youth in HMPPS since 2017, succeeds second permanent secretary Jo Farrar as chief exec. Farrar has headed up the service since 2019 and retained the title after she became the MoJ’s second-most senior civil servant in March 2021.

Farrar will focus on her wider responsibilities as second perm sec, which includes digital transformation of justice services, the MoJ said in an announcement.

Rees’s two-decade career at HMPPS includes stints at several prisons, including being governor at HMP Brixton; and a post as executive director for HMPPS and Wales.

She led a restructure of public prisons as HMPPS’s head of workforce strategy, and was responsible for delivering the Transforming Rehabilitation restructure of probation that started in 2013 – the reversal of which saw outsourced probation services returned to the MoJ this year.

The moves are part of a restructure that follows an “operating model review” led by departmental perm sec Antonia Romeo.

The restructure will see HMPPS put greater focus on the delivery of frontline services in an effort to keep the public safe, deliver modern prisons that rehabilitate offenders and reduce reoffending, according to the MoJ.

Under the reorganisation, prisons DG Phil Copple will become director general of operations for prisons and probation. He took up his new job today, as did Rees.

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