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Press Release

Yvonne Thomas to lead Interserve’s justice team

by Interserve Press Office | Feb 06, 2012

Appointment further reinforces Interserve’s long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Justice, National Offender Management Service and Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

Interserve, the FTSE 250 support services company, has underlined its serious intent to help the Ministry of Justice transform the delivery of justice. Building on its 25-year history of delivering innovation through financing, building and maintaining many of the UK's prisons, Interserve has invested in a highly experienced operational team to develop and deliver its offerings in frontline justice services, led by Yvonne Thomas.

Yvonne joins Interserve from the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), where she sat on the Board as an Operations Director. Before that, Yvonne was Director of Offender Management.

Yvonne will lead a formidable team which allies operational and strategic prisons expertise from both the public and private sectors. Adding operational expertise to its existing knowledge and experience, Interserve now has a complete end-to-end capability to develop innovative solutions in the delivery of custodial and community services.

Interserve’s justice team has got off to a promising start, having been shortlisted to provide services to all three prisons in which the company expressed interest. The prisons, Durham, Onley and Wolds, are among nine prisons the MoJ has put out for tender.

With MoJ competition plans spanning the entire Justice arena, including payment by results (PbR) pilots and electronic monitoring (tagging), the horizons for Interserve’s justice team are broad indeed.

For Yvonne Thomas it is an exciting time:

“We believe we can make a significant contribution to the justice sector. The public- and private-sector backgrounds of our team, combined with their strong operational track records, mean we see great scope for applying private-sector investment, flexibility and innovation to improve service provision.

“The payment-by-results principle is particularly compelling. Interserve has experience operating this type of model with the Department for Work and Pensions’ Work Programme. We’re determined that if our prison bids prove successful, the positive outcomes achieved for prisoners leaving an Interserve establishment will be able to be accurately measured. Not only will this show how effective we and our delivery partners are, it will also underline the value for money we will provide for the taxpayer - and ultimately how, in partnership, we can help reduce reoffending.”

Interserve’s ambitious yet broad aspirations in the justice sector are matched by its highly experienced operational team covering both custodial and community services. Together, the team possess the skills to devise and deliver the kind of imaginative new approaches to reduce reoffending currently sought by the Ministry of Justice.

Commenting on the new team Adrian Ringrose, Chief Executive of Interserve, said:

“Outsourcing frontline services is a must, given the state of the public finances. Interserve can play a significant role in delivering frontline services for the Ministry of Justice having gained substantial experience in other sectors, among them custodial construction and design. Our experience is both highly relevant and transferable.

“We have attracted a first-class team to Interserve with a range of talents and skills. Led by Yvonne Thomas, our team has the drive, passion and vision to help reduce reoffending and improve prisoner re-integration into the community.”

Key members of the dedicated justice team include:

Rob Kellett, Operations Director, joins from the National Offender Management Service where he has spent over 30 years in the management of large and complex prisons. He was also previously Head of Contracted Prisons.

Steve Taylor, Director of Custody, has over 20 years’ experience in public and private custodial services, most recently at Forest Bank Prison. He has a particular interest in the development of stakeholder relationships to deliver reductions in reoffending.

Simon Taylor, Commercial Director, joins from private-sector firm Sodexo, where he developed the management systems for PFI and prison contracts. He also negotiated the innovative PbR Social Impact Bond at Peterborough Prison.

Interserve has also retained Trevor Williams, the former Director of Operations, Director of High Security and Head of Contracted Prisons for HMPS and subsequently NOMS, while Christine Lawrie, the former Chief Executive of the Probation Association, and Ben Emm, who was Chief Officer of Bedfordshire and Head of the National Probation Improvement Agency for probation, are responsible for community and strategy advice.

Interserve’s experience in delivering safe and secure facilities:

Interserve already has a long-standing relationship with the MoJ, NOMS and Her Majesty’s Prison Service as a custodial construction partner and has built and refurbished over 5,000 cells. It also reduced the cost per cell by 29 per cent through successive innovations, among them the introduction of colour-coding identification of routes and facilities now widely adopted throughout the prison estate. Interserve has experience in innovative prison cell design and has developed operational solutions to improve cost, safety and security.

Interserve also has extensive experience of successfully mobilising and delivering complex and challenging services across a wide range of sectors including:

  • The building and operating of the Littlemore Medium Secure Unit for the NHS Trust (sectioned and detained patients).
  • Service delivery at University College London Hospital (UCLH) providing security functions, CCTV response, control room operation, perimeter guarding, and part of the major incident response team that mobilised during the 7 July bombings.
  • Acting as a major provider in the Building Schools for the Future programme where, working with the customer, we designed the environment and logistics based on the core purpose of the school's local requirement.
  • Assistance to the Metropolitan Police during and following the 2011 summer riots in London through CCTV surveillance support.

– Ends –

For further information please contact:

Giles Scott 
Head of Corporate Communications, Interserve
0118 960 2307

Liz Morley, Tom Eckersley 
020 7379 5151

About Interserve

Interserve's vision is to be the Trusted Partner of all our stakeholders. We are one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society's infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK. It has revenue of £1.9 billion and a workforce of nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

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