PET Chair recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

17 Jun 2017

Alexandra Marks: judge, legal consultant and the chair of Prisoners’ Education Trust has been awarded a CBE for her contribution to justice. 

Alexandra says:

“I am thrilled to have been awarded a CBE for public service, and particularly proud of the recognition it gives to the terrific work of Prisoners' Education Trust.”

She first became involved with PET in 2010 , and was appointed its Chair in 2012. In the same year she was also appointed as chair of the Prisoner Learning Alliance (PLA), a group of 23 charities that was set up by PET to promote the value of all types of education in prison.

Alexandra says:

“I became involved in PET because I am a fervent believer in the capacity of people to change. PET's work is proof of that capacity: our alumni are wonderful examples of the astonishing success of those who've been given access to educational opportunities in prison.

“I hugely admire the ability of those individuals to make the most of the educational opportunities PET offers. It is both rewarding and humbling to see prisoners who have transformed their lives through education, not just within their families, communities and workplaces but in society generally.”

Alexandra spent 20 years as a partner at Linklaters law firm, where she remains a consultant. She is a deputy High Court judge and sits as a recorder (crime and civil) on the South Eastern Circuit. She is a commissioner at both the Judicial Appointments Commission and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). 

She says:  

“I became a lawyer because I'm passionate about justice - and equally passionate about fighting its evil twin, injustice. I am actively involved in the only body which has the power to refer such cases back to the appeal courts - the CCRC. I am therefore committed to investigating and seeking to rectify miscarriages of justice. It is challenging work with many disappointments but it is satisfying when we've been able to play our part in bringing justice to the wrongly convicted.”

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust, says:

"Alexandra has been an outstanding supporter and leader for Prisoners' Education Trust.  Under her leadership it has gone from strength to strength supporting more prisoners to learn than ever before. And the Prisoner Learning Alliance has developed with her as Chair to be a powerful and influential voice in prison education policy and practice.  This award is a thoroughly deserved recognition for her role on prison education as well as her wider contribution to the Justice system."

The PET board was recently awarded in its category at the Charity Governance Awards, which commended the board’s role in integrating policy work and in supporting the charity to fund 40% more prison learners in the last five years.