New Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland takes office

Published on March 01 2019

Dr Lesley Carroll who took up her appointment as Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland on 1st March 2019 is the fifth Ombudsman since the office was set up in 2005.

Dr Carroll has extensive experience of the Northern Ireland Justice System across a range of roles. She is currently Deputy Chief Commissioner at the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and was a project manager at Victim Support NI dealing with victim experiences of the justice system. She was also a member of the Roe House assessment team within Maghaberry Prison and a member of the Consultative Group on Dealing with the Past. As a Presbyterian Minister Dr Carroll served in congregations in North Belfast for almost 30 years as well as being Convener of the General Assembly’s Church and Society Committee for seven years.

Commenting on her new role Dr Carroll said:

“I am very pleased and honoured to have been appointed as Prisoner Ombudsman. I am looking forward to beginning my work with prisoners and their families, and all the Government agencies to provide a thorough, and impartial service investigating and reporting on prisoners’ complaints and deaths in custody.”

"I will ensure the independence of my office in all investigations into complaints and deaths in custody and review how we can further improve access to information about our services and widen public understanding of our custodial system”.

“I also look forward to seeing progress with the legislative process to place my office on a statutory footing which has been delayed due to the suspension of the Assembly”.


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