Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Phil Wheatley to retire

with 2 comments

I think this is true. Phil Wheatley, the Director General of NOMS, has announced his retirement. John Hirst, the jailhouse lawyer wishes him all the best for the future- I can’t tell if he is being sarcastic or not while the prison officers on the website are less polite:

Well all I can say is good riddance to bad S***

All he ever did for PrisonOfficers was tell us all what a good job we were doing and performing so well whilst at the same time kicking us in the teeth at every turn. Mr Wheatley, you WILL NOT be missed. No doubt the Gov’t will take on someone just as bad or even worse to finally finish us off.


The only thing Wheatley had going for him is that he used to wear the uniform. Most of the senior NOMS types have always been suits with no links to the Prison Service.

I met him once- although I doubt he remembers- bizarrely, we ended up having a pint in a college bar in Cambridge (he paid!). He seemed like a nice guy who did want things to change- we talked about the probation service mainly and he said he was committed to cutting paperwork. He didn’t have any ideas as to how but then, to be fair, neither did I when he asked me!

Anyway, I wonder who will be his successor. Lets hope it’s someone who knows the detail of the job of both prison and probation staff because the only way NOMS will ever achieve its aim of a joined up offender management service is if probation stops being pushed to the bottom of the pecking order in the criminal justice system. Okay, prison has a bigger budget but probation deals with far more people. If we take the angle that people are more important than pounds then surely probation surely deserves a better deal than they are getting at the moment where probation services are facing swingeing cuts and the prison service is drooling over the arrival of £4.24 billion to build more prisons.

Who do you think should be his successor and what recommendations would you give him?


Written by criminologyandstuff

January 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Posted in criminal justice

2 Responses

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  1. I can assure you that I am not being sarcastic. We have been good friends for over 25 years. I suspect that he feels it would be too uncomfortable if the Tories win the next general election.


    January 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    • thanks for clarifying re sarcasm!


      January 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

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