DEPUTY DIRECTOR - Job Description
The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) is a charity that aims to create a just, humane and effective penal system.
We do this by inquiring into the workings of the system; informing prisoners, staff and the wider public; and
by influencing parliament, government, and officials towards reform. The position of deputy director is
pivotal to maintaining an independent, outcome-focussed charity and requires proven leadership and
The president of the Prison Reform Trust is Lord Hurd of Westwell. The chair is the Rt. Hon. Lord Woolf of
Barnes who is supported by 14 other trustees. The Board of Trustees meet every two months. Juliet Lyon is
the director of the Prison Reform Trust. The current deputy director, Geoff Dobson, steps down from his role
in spring 2012 and will the work on a part-time basis as company secretary and secretary to the All Party
Parliamentary Group on Penal Affairs.
To effect change in justice policy and practice, the Prison Reform Trust combines public education, and work
through the media, with applied research, advice and information and parliamentary work. Its four major
programmes of work are: reducing unnecessary imprisonment and promoting community solutions to crime;
improving treatment and conditions for prisoners and their families; promoting equalities and human rights
in the justice system; and providing advocacy and education.
Recently it has contributed substantively to a marked reduction in child and youth custody and, working in
partnership with the WI, it has secured a government commitment to divert people with mental health
needs, and those with learning disabilities, away from the justice system wherever possible into treatment
The values that underpin the Prison Reform Trust’s work are:
Prison should be reserved for those whose offending is so serious that they cannot serve their sentence in
The Prison Reform Trust believes that the only justification for the sentence of imprisonment is the
measured punishment of an individual for an offence; it is not right to use prison as a gateway to services or
treatment, or to attempt to use prison in place of effective crime prevention .
Overcrowding in prisons undermines the effectiveness of education, rehabilitation and other programmes
aimed at reducing reoffending.
Prisoners and their families should be treated with humanity and respect and have access to clear
information and the opportunity to represent themselves and have their views taken into account.
The Prison Service should provide constructive regimes, accessible to all prisoners, in decent, safe conditions
that ensure the well-being of prisoners and prepare them for resettlement in the community.
Prison and probation staff need the support and resources necessary to reduce the risk of reoffending to the
lowest possible level and to support ex-prisoners in resettling into employment, family and community life.
The general public, parliament and those responsible for incarcerating offenders should be fully informed
about the state and effectiveness of our criminal justice system.
As the most severe punishment in this country, imprisonment should remain the ultimate responsibility of
Deputy director of the Prison Reform Trust
Reports to the director
Purpose of the job:
The deputy director will work with the director to:
Enable the Prison Reform Trust to work effectively to create a just, fair and effective penal
Represent the Prison Reform Trust’s aims and values externally and to help to ensure that it
makes an impact across the UK on behalf of the people it serves.
Provide leadership to the staff team and ensure that services are planned, promoted and
delivered to a high standard.
Develop and shape the strategy and operating plan with the Board and support the Chair and
Trustees in their governance role and ensure that the Prison Reform Trust is run effectively and
able to sustain its work financially.
Working with the Board of Trustees to:
Ensure, with the director and company secretary, appropriate presentation and reporting to
the Board on the progress of the Prison Reform Trust and on all matters relevant to the
discharge of its responsibilities including the constitutional and legal obligations.
Prepare policy and development proposals for Board discussion and decision.
Managing the organisation:
Provide leadership, with the director, to the small, hard-working and high-achieving staff team.
Establish and maintain an HR system which maximises the potential of staff in keeping with
objectives, values and equalities policy of the organisation.
Keep under review, and ensure proper supervision and appraisal of, the work of the staff.
Ensure that expenditure is controlled in line with budgets agreed with the director and finance
Support the engagement of former offenders in the work of the organisation.
Assist the director in ensuring that a long term strategy is in place which can guide the Prison
Reform Trust in achieving its objectives.
Achieving change in policy and practice and promoting the aims of the charity
Lead and manage a major programme of work to improve conditions and treatment for people in
prison and their families.
Maintain effective networks and good relations with all principal supporters and stakeholders.
Ensure the organisation is presented in an appropriate and professional manner whether in
Parliament or in dealings with national and local government and allied organisations.
Promote the aims of the charity effectively in the printed press and broadcast media.
Seek opportunities to expand and promote the role of the organisation and its reform objectives.