Ian Acheson

Ian Acheson


Ian Acheson is a 50 year old Ulsterman with a long involvement in prison security and counter terrorism from operational to command level.

In 1994 Ian joined Her Majesty’s Prison Service as a prison officer rising rapidly to Governor rank. Ian has extensive involvement in operational command of serious prison incidents, hostage negotiation and counter-terrorism policy and practice relating to the threat posed by IRA terrorists and lately the very different challenge posed by Islamist extremists in custody.

On leaving the prison service, Ian was appointed Director of the international prison charity ‘Prisoners Abroad’ supporting British citizens detained overseas. A spell as Head of Region for the Government’s Youth Justice Board in South West England led to a role in the Senior Civil Service with the Home Office as Director of Community safety with responsibility for running the UK Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST in South West England.

Ian left public service in 2016 as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the GB statutory regulator for the Equality and Human Rights Acts.

He currently works as a senior advisor to the prestigious Counter Extremism Project, a US-based international NGO that brings together worldwide expertise to combat ideologically inspired terrorism.


“As a former Governor I saw first hand the potential and desire many people in prison had to give back to society beyond the prison gates. We all knew that being given a second chance and helped into employment could transform the fortunes of offenders and, as important, prevent them from creating further victims. But nothing like Clean Sheet existed then. Now this agile organisation is on the rehabilitation front line, helping more and more offenders off that dismal conveyor belt of offending, reoffending and repeated victimisation. It’s practical, down to earth and fiercely ambitious for its clients. I’m proud to be a supporter.”

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