About us (closed)


The Prison Governors Association existed to represent the interests of its membership and promote and support continuous improvement within the criminal justice system.


The PGA membership of over 1400 includes Operational and Senior Operational Managers of grades A to F and Senior Civil Servants whose background is in operational prison management.  The bulk of grades A to F occupy Governor, Deputy Governor and other governor grade posts in the public sector prisons of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland although many are serving periods of secondment in NOMS Headquarters and other Criminal Justice organisations


The first representative body for Prison Governors was the “Superior Officers’ Representative Board” set up in May 1920 under Captain R. H D’Aeth, Governor of Parkhurst.

More recently the Prison Governors Association (PGA) was formed in October 1987 to represent the interests of the Senior Prison Service grades amalgamated under the Fresh Start changes.  The PGA thus drew on both the Governor and Chief Officer traditions.

The Association was recognised by the Home Secretary in March 1988 and by the Treasury in May 1988.  Registered as a Trade Union under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Acts, it was granted a certificate of independence in the summer of 1988.

In 1989, Northern Ireland Prison Governors joined the PGA, and the Northern Ireland Office quickly recognised the Association as the representative body for Governors in Northern Ireland.

In 2003, Prison Governors in Scotland joined the PGA.  We are seeking recognition for the PGA by the Scottish Prison Service.

The membership of the PGA as of July 2009 was 1395.

The Retired Prison Governors Association also flourishes. A significant number of members who remain active in fields allied to the Prison Service – these include working with prison charities and prison reform groups, serving on the Parole Board and working for overseas governments.

16 retired Prison Governors Association members have been awarded distinguished life membership for their services to the association:  Mr Jim Blakey; Mr Terry Bone CBE; Ms Lynne Bowles; Mr Harry Brett; Mr Charles Bushell; Mr John Dovell; Mr Bob Duncan; Mr Mike Lewis, Mr Peter McLean; Mr Mike Newell, OBE; Mr Brendan O’Friel; Mr Chris Scott OBE, Mr David Simons, Mr Graham Mumby Croft, Mr David Roddan, and the late Gordon Lakes, CB MC.