Scottish Prison Service chief executive Colin McConnell to retire

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Colin McConnellImage source, Mark K Jackson
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Colin McConnell has been chief executive of the SPS since 2012

The chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service is to retire after eight years in the post.

Colin McConnell was appointed in May 2012, following a career in prisons across the UK.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said he was very grateful to Mr McConnell for his work during a "critical period of change, challenge and transformation".

He also credited him for creating a new vision focused on "rehabilitation and reintegration"

Mr Yousaf added: "Colin has played a key role in challenging traditional views of the role of prison - driving work aimed at unlocking potential and transforming lives - for example in paving the way for a transformation in how we manage and support women in custody."

He said the process to identify a new chief executive will begin shortly.

'Immeasurable gratitude'

Mr McConnell began his career in the SPS as a prison officer was later appointed assistant governor at HMP Glenochil.

He went on to work in the prison service in England and Wales before taking up his previous post as director general of the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Mr McConnell said: "Having been afforded the opportunity to lead one of our nation's core public services and all of the good and loyal people who make it the exceptional organisation that it is, fills me with considerable pride and immeasurable gratitude.

"I know that whoever is appointed to this role in future will quickly come to feel the same way."