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New director for HMP Birmingham

A new director at HMP Birmingham begins work today as the prison prepares to re-open the wings affected by disorder in December last year

The current director for G4S-managed HMP Rye Hill near Rugby in Warwickshire, Richard Stedman, assumes control of the prison as it prepares to return to full operational capacity of 1,450 from the current 990 later this month. 
Richard led the successful re-purposing of Rye Hill in summer 2014 to become a category B sex offender only facility, the only one of its type in England and Wales.  In the prison’s most recent inspection, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) said that the facility had some “real strengths” and that purposeful activities and offender management are better than normally seen with “much that other prisons can learn from”.
HMP Birmingham transferred to G4S from the public sector in 2011 and independent research published three years on found that the public service ethos of the prison had been “rekindled” after the transfer.  The director who led and oversaw that transition, Pete Small, remains with the company’s custodial and detention services division. 
Managing director for G4S custodial and detention services in the UK, Jerry Petherick, said:
“I would like to thank Pete Small for his tireless work over the past five and a half years at HMP Birmingham during which time he led the transfer of the prison to the private sector and, working closely with the Prison Officers Association (POA), rejuvenated employee relationships. 
“Pete has worked relentlessly to restore and recover the wings affected by last year’s disorder and now is the right time to entrust the continued progress of the prison to new leadership.  Richard brings tremendous experience from Rye Hill after re-purposing the prison in 2014 and I am confident that he will provide continued firm leadership for the next phase in Birmingham’s development.”
Richard Stedman said:
“HMP Birmingham has an experienced staff team with a very long history and tradition of courage, public service and pride in the prison.  The team passionately believes in the possibility of reform for the men in their care and I am looking forward to building on innovations such as the UK’s first prisoner on prisoner debating competition, held at Birmingham last summer.
“Birmingham is a busy, local prison and I will be focused on ensuring we successfully re-open the wings affected by disorder at the end of last year and return the prison to a path of continuous development and innovation which has been nurtured so carefully over the past five and a half years.”     
Pete Small said:
“I am proud to have led the HMP Birmingham team over a period of significant change and in more recent times, some very difficult moments.  The staff team has achieved a great deal in recent years and I am confident that they will not be defined by the events of December 2016 but instead will push forward, grow and ultimately surpass the high expectations they set for themselves and the men they look after.”