This page details the contributions that certain individuals have made to Unlock over the years.
Chris Bath was the Executive Director at Unlock until March 2013, where he left to take up the role of Chief Executive at another criminal justice charity.
He had held a number of positions in Unlock since joining the charity in 2005, including leading projects and services, and operations & development. A particular interest had been developing and achieving financial inclusion for people wth convictions and their families. This involved creating voluntary, public and private sector strategic partnerships including major banks, the British Bankers Association, Association of British Insurers and the Ministry of Justice, as well as charities including Citizens Advice. He co-authored research reports on how financial services can support rehabilitation and resettlement including Time is Money (with Prison Reform Trust) and Unlocking Credit Unions (with Liverpool John Moores University).
His driving passion was in influencing and persuading to achieve systemic change in the criminal justice system . He believed strongly in the importance of voluntary sector independence and the value of small charities. He shared this as a writer, keynote speaker and sessional lecturer.
Chris represented Unlock on radio, television and the press. His successful application saw Unlock awarded the Guardian Charity Award 2011, selected from almost 1,000 entries from charities with turnovers up to £1.5 million.
In announcing his departure, Chris said, “After almost 8 years with Unlock it’s a hugely emotional decision to leave. As a team we’ve overcome some significant challenges and shared incredible successes. But I’m proud to leave the charity with a clear strategic plan, stable finances and the promise of support from some fantastic new funders. Unlock has a very exciting future ahead of it.”
Linda Pizani-Williams, Unlock's Chair of Trustees, said, “Chris has transformed Unlock and will be greatly missed. However his departure is a natural fit with the strategy he has developed, which redirects resources away from management to providing direct support to people in need.”
Unlock’s new strategy involves investment in front line staff and an enhanced trustee board led by an Executive Chair. Julie Harmsworth will retain responsibility for HR, finance and fundraising as Director (Operations). Christopher Stacey will lead projects and services as Director (Services).
Bobby Cummines OBE FRSA
Bobby Cummines officially began his criminal life at the age of sixteen, becoming one of the youngest people in Britain to be convicted of carrying a sawn-off shotgun. He quickly became a gangland leader and was convicted of a number of serious offences including manslaughter and bank robbery. Labeled one of Britain’s most dangerous men, he served thirteen years in prison. A disruptive prisoner, he was involved in prison protests and riots. He spent lots of time in solitary confinement and moving between maximum security prisons.
Whilst in prison he studied for an Open University degree. When released in 1988, he committed to 'going straight' undertaking many menial jobs before returning to full time education studying for a degree in housing.
Bobby is one of the UK’s leading penal reformers and has advised Ministers and Judges on prison and rehabilitation. He has also advised statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies within the criminal justice system to overcome social exclusion and discrimination faced by fomer offenders, thus helping to break the cycle of re-offending. He has been featured in many books, and regularly represents the interests of former offenders in conferences, debates and in the media. His passion is talking to young people in schools and colleges, deterring them from what they might perceive as a glamorous lifestyle by highlighting the harsh realities of crime and prison.
In 1999, Bobby became one of the first members of Unlock, and was its Deputy Chief Executive until 2002, at which time he became Chief Executive.
In 2011, he received an OBE for services to reformed offenders.
He stepped down as Chief Executive of Unlock in 2012. You can read his "Thank you" message here.
Lord Robin Corbett (1933 - 2012)
Lord Corbett was a long-standing patron of Unlock and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group.
He was a well respected man, held in the highest esteem by all staff. He was known for his fairness and unflinching loyalty. He stood by our side, along with Lord Ramsbotham and Baroness Kennedy, in our pursuit to give serving prisoners the right to vote. He was a man with a backbone who stood by what he believed in at all times and was champion of the underdog.
Sir Stephen Tumim (1930 - 2003)
- First President and Founding Member of Unlock
- Former Chief Inspector of Her Majesty's Prisons
- Former Chairman of the Koestler Award Trust
Sir Stephen Tumim was central to the founding of Unock in 1999, and served as President until his death in December 2003 - only days after Chairing our Annual Conference in his wonderful, inimitable way.
H.M. Chief Inspector of Prisons (1987-1995) and co-author of the Woolf Report of the Inquiry into the Prison Disturbances in April 1990, Sir Stephen was an amazing man with considerable knowledge and limitless ability to see the good in everyone.
Unlock will always remember Sir Stephen and all that he did to help us in our work. His tireless support of this Charity was always appreciated and is greatly missed. We shall remain forever in his debt.
Read more about Sir Stephen Tumim's life here.