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|Frances Crook OBE|
|Alma mater||Liverpool University|
|Occupation||Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform|
Early life and career
She was the campaigns co-coordinator at the British Section of Amnesty International from 1980 to 1985, and was twice elected as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet, serving from 1982 to 1990, leading on housing and planning and holding weekly surgeries.
The Howard League for Penal Reform
Appointed in 1986, she has been responsible for the Howard League's research programmes and campaigns to raise public concern about issues including suicides in prison, the over-use of custody, poor carceral conditions, young people in trouble and mothers in prison. Under her direction the number of staff and turnover of the charity has grown twenty-fold. The charity has secured a contract with the Legal Services Commission to provide legal advice to children in custody and has taken a number of successful judicial reviews that have improved the treatment of children and young people in custody and on release.
Crook has been a school governor and chaired various local community organisations. She was a Governor of the University of Greenwich for 6 years and chaired the Staff and General Committee, retiring in 2002. In 2005 to 2008 she served on the Board of the School Food Trust, the non-departmental public body charged with overseeing the implementation of national standards for school food to every school in England and Wales.
In 2009 she was appointed an NHS non-executive director of Barnet Primary Care Trust, responsible for a budget of £550 million delivering health services to 350,000 people. In 2010 she was appointed a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.