Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

IPCC chairman Nick Hardwick to be new prison inspector

Nick Hardwick
Nick Hardwick became the first chairman of the IPCC in 2002

The chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is set to become the new Chief Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales.

Nick Hardwick is the preferred candidate to succeed Dame Anne Owers, who is retiring after eight years.

He was selected after a "rigorous and open selection process", a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw will consider a committee's views before making a recommendation to the Queen.

Conditions and treatment

Mr Hardwick, 52, is expected to appear before the Justice Committee of MPs for a pre-selection hearing later this year.

He was appointed as the first chairman of the IPCC in December 2002.

He was chief executive of the Refugee Council from 1995 to 2003. Before that he ran the homeless charity Centrepoint.

The post of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons was established by the 1982 Criminal Justice Act.

The inspector reports to the Justice Secretary on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons in England and Wales.

The role also involves reporting to the Home Secretary on conditions and treatment in all places of immigration detention in the UK.

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