Michael Spurr

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Michael Spurr
Born (1961-09-20) September 20, 1961 (age 55)
Nationality English
Alma mater Durham University
Occupation Prison officer
Years active 2010 –
Employer National Offender Management Service
Organization Ministry of Justice
Salary £145,000 – £149,999[1]
Predecessor Phil Wheatley

Michael Spurr, CB (born September 20, 1961), is an English prison officer who is the current Chief Executive Officer of the National Offender Management Service, an agency of the Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom that runs the combined prison and probation services for England and Wales. He joined HM Prison Service in 1983 as a prison officer, before undergoing training to become a Governor a year later. Following a series of posts as Governor and in headquarters, he was named Deputy Director General of the Prison Service in 2006, moving to the role of Chief Operating Officer following the reorganisation of NOMS in 2008.

Early life[edit]

Spurr graduated from St Chad's College, Durham University with a BA in Economics and Economic History.[2] At the time of graduating from University, he was running a youth club, and following the suggestion of his careers advisor to look at the prison service, he felt that becoming a borstal house master would be a good idea, and so signed up.[2]

HM Prison service[edit]

Spurr joined the Prison Service in 1983, the same year that borstals were abolished, initially as a prison officer in HMP Leeds. He then moved to HMP Stanford Hill to begin training as an Assistant Governor after a year. Following the completion of his training he transferred to HMP Swaleside, before becoming Deputy Governor of HMYOI Aylesbury and then Governing Governor of the same establishment in 1993.[2]

He then moved into HQ operations, managing the prison population and a system for managing disruptive prisoners.[2] He moved back into an operation role in 1996, becoming Governing Governor of HMP Wayland, and afterwards in the same position at HMP Norwich, which splits its adult and young offender functions over two sites.[2] In 2000, he became Area Manager for London North and East Anglia, and then following a restructuring of areas, the manager for the Eastern region. In 2003, he became Director of Operations for the Prison Service, which included sitting on the Prison Service Management Board for the first time. The role involvement the management of all Area Managers other than those in the High Security Estate.[2] In 2006, he was announced as Deputy Director General of the Prison Service.[2]


Following the reorganisation of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) in 2008, he took on the role of Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for delivery of operations for prisons and probation.[2] He was subsequently made Chief Executive of NOMS, taking on full responsibility for running the prisons and probation services.[3] This coincided with a change in title for the head of the service, as his predecessor, Phil Wheatley, had been known as the Director General,[4] with Spurr taking over the post on 8 June 2010.[4][5]

At the time of his appointment, the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) had been calling for NOMS to be abolished. Spurr responded that he felt that while the service needed to change, there remains a requirement for national oversight and management for prisons and probation.[6]

As CEO of NOMS, he has made clear his opposition to staff corruption in prisons, “I am absolutely clear there are corrupt staff; I am absolutely clear we have to tackle that and not pretend it doesn't exist. I'm clear that we must work through what intelligence we've got about the potential for corruption - and then identify those involved and take action.”[7]

Spurr was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to offender management.[8]


  1. ^ "National Offender Management Service HQ Organogram" (PDF). National Offender Management Service. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Interview: Michael Spurr" (PDF). Prison Service Journal (177). Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Rochester inmates 'spend too long in cells'". BBC News. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "National Offender Management Service: Annual Report and Accounts 2010-2011" (PDF). Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Hughes, Mark (9 June 2010). "Former head of prisons: short sentences don't stop reoffending". The Independent. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "NOMS Chief promises to give probation a clear voice" (PDF). Probation Association Interface. Autumn 2010. p. 7. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Prison service admits 'considerable' staff corruption threat". Channel 4 News. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b3. 14 June 2014.

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