Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Preferred candidate for role of Prisons and Probation Ombudsman [January 2023]

The press release issued by the Ministry of Justice on 18 January 2023.

The Secretary of State, Rt Hon. Dominic Raab MP, confirmed today (18 January 2023) that the preferred candidate to be the next Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) is Adrian Usher.

Adrian Usher has been selected following a rigorous assessment process conducted in accordance with the Governance Code for Public Appointments. The PPO is appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice and the process regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments

The role is subject to pre-appointment hearing by the Justice Select Committee. Pre-appointment scrutiny is an important part of the appointment process for some of the most significant public appointments made by Ministers. It is designed to provide an added level of scrutiny to the appointment process. Pre-appointment hearings are held in public and allow a Select Committee to take evidence before a candidate is appointed. Ministers consider the Committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.

The role of the PPO was established in 1994 to be an independent adjudicator of complaints from prisoners following the Woolf Inquiry into the 1990 riots at Strangeways and other prisons. Its remit has since expanded to include probation complaints and complaints from immigration detainees. Further, the PPO now carries out investigations into deaths of prisoners, young people in detention, approved premises’ residents and immigration detainees.

The PPO’s office is operationally independent of, though sponsored by, the MOJ. The role is not defined in legislation but works to the Terms of Reference set by the Secretary of State.


Mr Usher has had an extensive career as a Senior Police Officer for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), joining in 2003. He has previously served on both Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Corruption Commands and has been a Senior Investigating Officer in a variety of roles. Currently, he is the Commander for Learning and Development in the MPS where he leads the training requirements across policing operations including changing training to accommodate new legislation, judicial and law enforcement best practice and improving policing standards.