ICVA Chair Announcement


July 27, 2023

ICVA is delighted to announce that a new, permanent Chair has been appointed at the Board of Directors. Dame Anne Owers joins ICVA from her most recent tenure as the Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board.

Dame Anne has an incredible career throughout the Criminal Justice System, most recently as the first non-executive National Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board. The 140 Boards have a statutory responsibility to monitor and report on conditions and treatment in prisons and places of immigration detention.  Dame Anne was also a member of the National Preventive Mechanism steering group and retains a role as a member of Independent Commission on UK Counter-Terrorism Law.

Dame Anne’s previous roles include Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales, Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (now the IOPC) Director of JUSTICE, non-Executive Director of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and much more.

She joins ICVA at a time where the organisation is performing well, has a new permanent CEO, and is seeking to support members through upcoming elections, whilst continuing to undertake important policy workstreams.

Natasha Plummer has been ICVA’s Interim Chair for a year and will return to the position of Vice Chair. The board wishes to express their thanks to Natasha for all of her work, in particular for stepping up for the past year. When speaking of Dame Anne’s appointment, Natasha said:

‘I welcome Dame Anne to the board and very much look forward to working with her over the coming months. This is an important appointment for ICVA and we are delighted to have a new Chair with such depth of knowledge and experience in the arenas of Criminal Justice and Human Rights. I am sure ICVA will go from strength to strength under Dame Anne’s leadership’.

Dame Anne Owers said:

‘I’m very pleased indeed to have been asked to take over as chair of ICVA, to support the great work of Sherry and her team.  From my work with the independent monitoring boards in prisons, I know how important it is for members of the community to go into places of detention, report on what they find and ensure fair and humane treatment for those who are detained.  For over 20 years, I’ve been involved with the independent oversight of prisons, immigration detention and police. 

Joining ICVA feels like coming full circle – I was doing community work in Brixton in the 1980s, when Lord Scarman’s report led to the formation of the ICVs to provide independent, unannounced oversight of police custody.  So it’s both a pleasure and a privilege to be back’.

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