Published Thursday, 31 May 2012
Justice Minister David Ford welcomed Mrs McAllister to the post on Thursday. (© Presseye)
Sue McAllister will take up the post which attracts an annual salary of £100,000 at the beginning of July.
The 51-year-old mother of two has 25 years experience in the prison service, including working as a governor of both a prison and young offenders centre.
She is first woman to hold the most senior position in the Prison Service in Northern Ireland.
Mrs McAllister replaces Colin McConnell who left the Prison Service at the end of May after just a year to take up a post as head of the Scottish Prison Service. He was given the task of transforming the NI prison service and recruiting new staff.
"It is a great privilege to be appointed the Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service and to lead this proud service through a period of fundamental reform," Mrs McAllister said.
"I do not underestimate the scale of the reform programme that will be delivered over the next few years, one of the most challenging undertaken by the public sector anywhere in the United Kingdom.
"I am confident that I can lead the Prison Service through this change programme and with the support of colleagues, the Department and the Minister, create a service with offender rehabilitation at its core which plays its part in building safer communities across Northern Ireland."
Justice Minister David Ford met Mrs McAllister on Thursday morning and has welcomed her appointment.
"Sue joins the Northern Ireland Prison Service at a crucial stage of the reform programme," the Minister said.
"A number of key milestones have been reached, including the successful launch of the exit scheme with over 150 staff leaving the service, a recruitment competition under way for new Custody Officers and an agreement with the POA on new working practices.
"This is only the start of the reform programme and it is important to maintain the momentum for change that has been established.
"Sue brings a wealth of experience to this demanding post and I know that she is committed to driving forward the change agenda."