Justin Russell

Category: 1990s /  All Harkness Stories /  Health & Social Care / 

Justin Russell (HF 1993-94) , currently Chief Inspector of Probation, completed degrees at Oxford (St John’s) and Bristol before an early career in social research in the Home Office. He was based at UC Berkeley looking at substance abuse treatment programmes for offenders across the United States. Arriving back in England he came up with the idea of the Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO), based on the Drug Court model he had seen in the US, which enabled judges in England and Wales to sentence drug related offenders to a programme of treatment and testing as an alternative to a prison sentence.  This became law in the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, backed up with over £50m a year of funding and by the end of 2003, over 18,000 DTTOs had been given out by UK courts.    Justin's Harkness year was to be the beginning of a 25 year career influencing criminal justice and home affairs policy in a range of settings such as the Home office, No 10, and DWP, and covering a wide range of topics; violent crime, asylum, gang and youth violence, domestic abuse, offender policy, disability and employment, aging and pensions, as well as overall Home Affairs in his time as special adviser to two Home Secretaries (Jack Straw and John Reid) and as a Senior Policy Adviser to Tony Blair in the No. 10 Policy Unit. Justin was Director General for Prisons and Probation Policy at the Ministry of Justice from 2016 to the end of 2018.