04 February 2021
Susie Richardson has been appointed as the new permanent Governor for the States of Jersey Prison Service (SoJPS), to take over from the current acting Governor Nick Watkins when he retires in May.
Susie is currently Deputy Governor for HM Prison Winchester, where she has worked since 2018. She will be joining SoJPS in April 2021, to allow for a formal handover from Nick Watkins.
Susie has gained wide-ranging experience having worked in a number of operational roles in prisons across England and Wales, and held positions in the Ministry of Justice, working in collaboration with the Probation Services and a broad range of Criminal Justice agencies and stakeholders in the UK. At present, as Deputy Governor, she is the operational lead for delivering cultural change and continuous improvement within Winchester Prison.
Home Affair Minister, Constable Len Norman, commented: “I am delighted that we have attracted such an outstanding candidate in Susie to lead our prison service. She will provide energy, strategic focus and strong leadership, and I look forward to working closely with her in reducing re-offending in our Island community.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Nick Watkins for his outstanding 32 years of service within the Jersey Prison Service and wish him a happy and healthy retirement.”
Susie Richardson said “It's an absolute privilege to be serving the community of Jersey in this role of Prison Governor, and to be able to bring my experience of working in every type of prison in the UK, to lead a prison that caters for every offender’s needs in Jersey. I'm very much looking forward to working with the different Island agencies and Government Departments to understand the root causes of crime, and have an integrated approach to measurably reduce reoffending and ensuring that Jersey is recognised as world leading in this field.
“I have a passion for leadership and wish to be part of the I WILL (Government empowering women network) and make sure that we are developing home-grown leaders through the prison service in Jersey to become the Governors of the future.
“I will be moving to the Island with my husband and three school aged children and we all very much look forward to becoming part of the community of Jersey, embracing all that the Island has to offer and ensuring that we give back to this beautiful Island.”
Nick Watkins will retire on 09th May, after more than 32 years within the SoJPS. During Mr Watkin’s time, he has been involved with setting up numerous initiatives and units within the prison such as the vulnerable persons unit, introducing digital technology to the service as well as the prison’s development program. He was also involved with the development of an electric locking system that has now been deployed in other prisons across other jurisdictions.
Nick Watkins added: “I am looking forward to handing over the reins of the prison governorship to Susie and wish her every success in her new role as Governor. I would also like to welcome Susie’s husband and children to our beautiful historic Island with its strong heritage and steeped in its many traditions, I am sure they will feel at home very quickly. I am very proud of all that I have achieved with my team to provide care for prisoners within the service over the years, much of which I could not have achieved without the support and help of staff, both past and present.
“I wish to thank my dedicated team for their belief and unwavering support during my time in office, which I will not forget, I will most certainly miss their camaraderie and humour. They are true professionals and work hard to keep us safe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We should all be very proud of them.”
The appointment process for the Prison Governor was run by the Jersey Appointments Commission with independent oversight.
• Jersey Appointment Commissioner – Chair of the panel and Non-voting member
• Charlie Parker – Government of Jersey, CEO
• Julian Blazeby – Director General for Justice and Home Affairs
• Paul Foweather – Independent panel member and director within HM Prison Service
• Amanda Burns – Independent panel member and CEO of Visit Jersey
• GoJ Officer Support: Neil Wiseman – Head of Resourcing
• The panel considered 9 applications, including 1 on-Island application
• 4 candidates were invited to final interview (3 women and 1 man), one candidate withdrew before final interviews))
• 3 candidates completed final interviews (2 women and 1 man)