Geoff Hughes

Geoff was born and raised in Usk and was educated at Monmouth School. He has lived, intermittently, in Llansoy for 34 years.

Former Governor of HM Prison Belmarsh , the highest security prison in UK, former Governor of Cardiff prison and Drake Hall women's prison and recently retired Area Manager for all public sector prisons in Wales.

Geoff Hughes trained as a teacher and taught for 9 years in comprehensive schools and a secure unit for disaffected adolescent boys.

He joined the Prison Service in 1981 and spent 27 years in over 100 prisons in England and Wales. His experience includes working in young offender establishments, women's prisons, adult male prisons and high security prisons.

Geoff governed 3 prisons, Belmarsh, Drake Hall and Cardiff and held important posts in Prison Service Headquarters including Head of Security.

As Governor he was responsible for running effective and efficient prisons to protect the public and to help reduce re-offending. The varied work included dealing with crises such as hostage taking incidents and concerted indiscipline by prisoners as well as managing political influence, media interest and industrial relations.

Whilst Governor of Belmarsh Prison he was responsible for nearly 1,000 staff and a budget of £35m.

Geoff spent 4 years on secondment to HM Inspectorate of Prisons reporting, on the treatment of and conditions for prisoners on behalf of 2 Chief Inspectors, Lord Ramsbotham and Dame Anne Owers. This involved leading teams on announced and unannounced visits to prisons throughout the country.

In 1999 he was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study prison inspection in Finland and Sweden.

Over the last 13 years Geoff has travelled extensively on prison work to countries including China, Argentina, Kosova, Australia, Bulgaria, Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Mongolia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, France and Turkey as a consultant.

Geoff Hughes is a knowledgeable speaker who gives a practitioner's view of imprisonment, crime and punishment, providing a fascinating insight into life behind prisons walls.

Geoff is climbing Mt Kilimanjaro (with 15 former Welsh rugby captains) in September in aid of Cancer Research at Velindre Hospital.