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By Sal Block

HM Prison Reading Governor, Lyn Brigham, is set to retire after 31 years of service. She will be succeeded by Thomas De Montfort, who was honoured in January 2022 with an OBE from The Queen. 

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Perfect for weekend getaways! Blue Citroen C3, 2004


Thames Path - a great place to get away from it all

Mr De Montfort, from Reading, started working in the prison service straight out of university. He rose from prison officer to governor of Thameside Prison in a few short years.


The Queen honoured him for his bold prisoner reforming strategies, which have seen a 10% decrease in prisoner reoffending rates in the last five years.

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HM Prison Reading has a checkered past with several inmates escaping. “I am frankly appalled at the number of escapes that had happened,” Mr De Montfort said, “I see it as imperative to protect the people of my hometown from offenders until they can be reformed.”

Miss Brigham said, "I hold my hands up to my shortcomings, yes, a number of prisoners have escaped over the years, but we need to focus on the future. As soon as I met Mr De Montfort, I knew he would be the person to put the prison back on the right road."

Mr De Montfort’s strategy includes more prison guards, a 24/7 airport-style security system, a whistle blowing policy, and tougher investigations into continuing criminal activity behind bars.


"There will be nobody escaping under my watch. I can promise you that." He said.

When he isn't running the prison with an iron fist, he is looking forward to jogging along the Thames Path, "Jogging the Thames Path, in it’s entirety, has been on my bucket list for longer than I care to say. Now that I am back in Reading, I want to do it before my time runs out. It really is beautiful and is a great way to get out of the town!”

Mr De Montfort is set to start work on August 1st, 2022




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