The Prisoner Ombudsman sets the strategic direction of the Office and liaises with all key external bodies including the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and the Coroners Service for Northern Ireland. He/she engages closely with deceased prisoners’ next of kin, considers all Death in Custody and most Complaint reports. The Prisoner Ombudsman operates independently of the Prison Service and reports directly to the Minister of Justice.
Director of Operations
The Director of Operations is responsible for managing the office of the Prisoner Ombudsman to ensure that all resources are directing at fulfilling the objectives of the office, advising on policy and procedural matters, liaison with key stakeholders, enhancing the public transparency of the office, and maximising prisoner accessibility.
Senior Investigating Officer – Death in Custody
The SIO has responsibility for performance management and quality assurance of all death in custody investigations including monitoring of any recommendations made. The team also comprises two Investigators who are responsible for managing a caseload of death in custody investigations.
Senior Investigating Officer – Complaints
The SIO has responsibility for all performance management and quality assurance of Complaints and Serious Incidents including monitoring of any recommendations made. The team also comprises three Investigators who are responsible for managing a caseload of complaint investigations.
The Ombudsman’s Office Manager is responsible for maintaining office procedures.
The Complaints Officer handles calls to our Freephone service for prisoners, dealing with all their initial inquiries and supporting the investigators in the early stages of their work.