Reappointments to Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, in consultation with the Home Office and Department of Health and Social Care, has reappointed 5 members to the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody.

Deborah Coles, Professor Seena Fazel, Professor Jennifer Shaw, and Jenny Talbot OBE have been reappointed for a second term of 2 years from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023.

John Wadham has been reappointed for a second term of 6 months from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021.

The Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Home Office. The Council consists of three tiers:

  • Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody
  • Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC)
  • Practitioner and Stakeholder Group

The role of IAPDC, an advisory non-departmental public body, is to provide independent advice and expertise to the Ministerial Board. It provides guidance on policy and best practice across sectors and makes recommendations to Ministers and operational services. The IAPDC’s aim is to bring about a continuing and sustained reduction in the number and rate of deaths in all forms of state custody in England and Wales.

Biographies

  • Deborah Coles is the Executive Director of the influential human rights charity INQUEST that works on state related deaths, she champions various social justice and equality issues. Deborah undertakes policy, research, media and consultancy work on the strategic issues raised by contentious deaths, in particular those in state care or raising concerns about state or corporate accountability. She is an advisor to Women In Prison and a trustee of Clean Break Theatre Company.

  • Seena Fazel is a Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, and honorary consultant forensic psychiatrist for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. He works clinically in a local prison. His main research interests are on suicidal behaviour in prisoners, mental health of prisoners, and risk assessment in criminal justice and mental health.

  • Jennifer Shaw is Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests include suicide primarily within the criminal justice system, homicide and the mental health of prisoners. She has over 30 years experience working clinically in the NHS.

  • Jenny Talbot OBE has worked extensively to improve outcomes for people with learning disabilities and neurodiversity within the criminal justice system, including with the Prison Reform Trust, where she directed the innovative ‘Care not Custody’ programme. Under the auspices of the Open Society Foundations, Jenny coordinates a small international group of disability advocates working to promote fair access to justice for people with disabilities. In January 2021 she was appointed Independent Chair of the National Women’s Prison Health and Social Care Review, a partnership between HMPPS and NHSE/I.

  • John Wadham is a human rights lawyer and currently chair of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) set up by the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which brings together 21 statutory bodies monitoring detention in all forms of state custody in the UK. He is also the Human Rights Advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

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