The Lord Ramsbotham GCB CBE 'What price imprisonment?"

The Lord Ramsbotham GCB CBE

Talk in the House of Lords introduced by The Rt Hon the Baroness Chalker of Wallasey and chaired by Rehman Chishti MP.

Winston Churchill:  "There is a treasure in the heart of every man" quoted by Lord Ramsbotham to illustrate his optimistic approach to the justice system.


After coming down from Cambridge, he was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade in 1957, from which he retired as Adjutant General, or Director of Personnel, in 1993, in the rank of General.  During that time he served in Germany, Kenya, Hong Kong, Borneo, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar as well as England.  After retiring he worked to the UN and World Bank on post-conflict reconstruction, including demining, for a private security company, and chaired an NHS hospital, before, In 1995, being appointed HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales.  He inspected and/or visited every prison, YOI and immigration centre in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Caribbean Overseas Territories before retiring in 2001, as well as prisons in Scotland, Germany, the United States, Canada and Western Australia.  Since retiring he has inspected prisons in Trinidad, Mauritius, Goa, Abu Dhabi and Kenya as an expert witness in extradition cases.  He was appointed an independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords in 2005, where he concentrates on all aspects of penal reform and defence.