Paul McDowell is Chief Executive of Nacro, the leading crime reduction charity in England and Wales. Nacro is dedicated to making society safer by working to reduce offending by providing practical services to offenders and those at risk of offending. Each year, Nacro helps over 80,000 people through more than 300 projects across England and Wales.
Prior to joining Nacro in October 2009, Paul McDowell was governor of HMP Brixton from 2006. He joined the Prison Service in 1990 as a Prison Officer at HMYOI Stoke Heath. In 1992 he was transferred to HMP Woodhill where he was amongst the first group of staff tasked with preparing the prison for its opening. He subsequently worked at HMP Wellingborough, Prison Service training college, Newbold Revel, HMP Gartree and HMYOI Feltham. In 2000 Paul was seconded to the Home Office where he worked in the Prison Minister’s Private Office. He returned to HMYOI Feltham as Deputy Governor in 2001, followed by a successful period in charge at HMP Coldingley from 2004 culminating in a full HMCIP inspection report published in early 2006.
Paul is currently an advisory panel member of Make Justice Work, a media campaign designed to raise public awareness of the costliness of locking up low-level offenders and Special Advisor to the Prison Radio Association.