New Chief Inspector of Prisons

Wendy Sinclair-Gieben first woman appointed to post.

Wendy Sinclair-Gieben has been appointed the new HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, the first woman appointed to the role.

Ms Sinclair-Gieben has a background in justice in the UK and Australia, including terms as a prison governor and managing a reintegration facility for young male offenders.

She succeeds David Strang, who has served in the role since 2013.

Announcing the appointment, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“Wendy Sinclair-Gieben brings a wealth of experience in the justice sector, a deep understanding of prisons and the wider justice context, and a commitment to a public sector ethos. I look forward to working with her.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank David Strang for his tireless work as HMCIPS over the past five years. David has paved the way for the introduction of Independent Prison Monitors, the establishment of standards for inspecting Court Custody provision, and recognising and promoting the needs of vulnerable groups of prisoners.

“He has also made a positive contribution to the wider debate on progressive justice reform and I wish him every success for the future.”

Ms Sinclair-Gieben said:

"I am delighted to be appointed to this exciting post. I see this role as a culmination of a long and rewarding career in Justice and I particularly look forward to building on my predecessor’s significant achievements in the future."


Wendy Sinclair-Gieben was selected through an open recruitment process conducted in line with the Civil Service Commission Recruitment Principles.

Ms Sinclair-Gieben was educated in Edinburgh and then England. She worked as a prison governor for the HM Prison Service in England from 1998 – 2006. From 2006 – 2009 she was Prison Director for HMP Kilmarnock, before becoming a director with Serco in Australia, including at the Wanadoo Reintegration Facility for young men in Perth, Western Australia.


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