Professor Martin Narey
Phone 0114 225 5725
Martin Narey graduated from Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University) in 1977 with a degree in public administration, and began his career in the National Health Service. In 1982, Martin moved to the Prison Service as an assistant governor, working in both young offenders and adult (maximum security) prisons. In 1989 Martin was promoted to the Prison Service Headquarters and in 1991 moved to the Home Office initially in the role of Private Secretary and later leading on the development of the criminal justice system and leading work on prosecution policy, race in the criminal justice system, the management of attendance centres and delay in the criminal justice process. Martin wrote a major report that led to the so called Narey reforms and the introduction of Narey courts. These resulted in an increase in the efficiency and speed of the justice system by, for example, rapid sentencing for individuals pleading guilty; and reducing the average number of days it took to plead a case from 90-70.
In 1997 Martin moved back to the Prison Service as head of security and policy, and later as director of resettlement. Martin was then appointed to the role of Director General of the Prison Service in 1998. He led what has become known as the decency agenda with an absolute intolerance of the abuse of offenders and of racism. He oversaw a prison population of between 65,000 (1998) and 72,000 (2003), 44,000 staff and a budget in 2003 of approximately £2.3 billion.
In 2003 Martin left the Prison Service and, as one of three of permanent secretary rank in the Home Office, became the first Commissioner for Correctional Services in England and Wales, which included leading the Probation Service, the Prison Service, the Youth Justice Board and developing Home Office policy with regards to sentencing and rehabilitation of offenders.
In 2004 Martin became the chief executive of the new National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the agency which was established to bring together the Prison and Probation services.
Martin was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in November 2003, and in the same year was also awarded the Chartered Management Institute's Gold Medal for 2003, an annual award presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements through their leadership. He joined the Hallam Centre for Community Justice as a visiting professor in June 2006.
In October 2005, Martin left the Home Office to join Barnardo's as their chief executive. Commenting on Martin's departure, Charles Clarke MP, the then Home Secretary said, 'Martin Narey has been a distinguished servant to both the Prison Service and the Home Office over the past 23 years. During that time he has earned the respect of colleagues at all levels and is held in high regard throughout Government and across the Criminal Justice System.
'During my time at the Home Office I have been impressed by Martin's vision, drive and leadership qualities which have led to significant improvements in the way we manage offenders. He has made real progress in taking forward the recommendations in Patrick Carter's report on correctional services reform through the creation of the National Offender Management Service and he has set down solid foundations for the Government to build on in our work to reduce reoffending.'
Martin is a significant figure in the reform of the criminal justice sector in the past 20 years, in his former role as Director-General of the Prison Service where he made a singular impact on key issues in the effective management of prisons and in the recent development of the National Offender Management Service against a very difficult climate for change. He is known internationally through visiting and speaking at conferences across the world and representing the government. He is currently leading Barnardo's, one of the leading children's charity and thus continues in a high profile and leadership role.