Independent Monitoring Panelmaintaining standards of care in our prison
Photo courtesy of the Guernsey Press.
The Independent Monitoring Panel makes visits to Guernsey Prison – either unannounced or on request from a prisoner or prison officer.
The Panel ensures that proper standards of care, decency and respect are maintained and raises any concerns.
Examples of prisoners’ issues include difficulties with family visits and complaints about the fabric of the building.
You will be:
- Visiting the prison unannounced to check accommodation, health care, education, and treatment of inmates.
- Visiting prisoners at their request, investigating their issues and complaints and making sure they receive a response.
- Attending as observers at routine prison meetings.
From time to time, the Committee for Home Affairs advertises for new Independent Monitoring Panel Members to replace people who have stood down. There are ten panel members.
To apply, you will complete an application form and will be called for an interview if you get shortlisted.
You will be interviewed by the Chair of the Panel, the Deputy Chair and the Panel’s Secretary.
If successful, you will need to have a Basic Police Check. Your name will then be submitted by Home Affairs to the States of Deliberation for approval by Deputies.
You don’t need any formal qualifications to join the Panel. Members are appointed for the qualities and experience they can bring to the role from their own lives.
You’ll need tact, sensitivity and the ability to communicate with a wide range of individuals. The role would suit those driven by a sense of justice, fairness and human rights.
Knowledge of the criminal justice system and experience in undertaking risk assessments is desirable.
Support and training
Senior Panel members along with staff from across Home Affairs, will provide a comprehensive training programme for all new Panel Members.
Your training will mainly consist of shadowing experienced Panel Members on visits to introduce you to prison life and the role of the Panel within the prison.
The total commitment is about four to five hours a month.
- The Panel meets as a team on the first Tuesday of every 2nd month, from 5.30pm, for 2 hours or so.
- Unannounced visits to the Prison take place monthly at any time of the day or night and last about two hours. Two members attend every unannounced visit.
- Visits requested by prisoners happen at a time convenient to the Panel Member and the Prison. These take between 20 minutes and an hour depending on the issue raised. Requested visits are normally made by one member. New members are able to attend to observe until they are confident to act on their own.
- In addition, members are invited to observe internal Prison meetings. These take one to two hours.
Panel Members are appointed for a four year term which may be renewed.
There is no salary, it is a voluntary role to assist your community.
Limited expenses will be reimbursed.
You will be a voice for prisoners and prison officers, helping to ensure that both are treated fairly.
You will be working as part of a team to safeguard public trust and confidence in the prison service.
Your role is not to ‘solve’ prisoner problems. You observe and report to ensure prisoners are treated fairly and in line with the policy and procedures in place.
Go to gov.gg/IndependentMonitoringPanel and follow the links for an information booklet and an application form.
Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Panel 2020, as submitted to the States of Deliberation, gives a really good insight into the work of the Panel.
Guernsey Press article about the findings of the Independent Monitoring Panel.
ITV Channel TV article about recruitment to the Panel.
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This description of the role of Independent Prison Monitor has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers. If you spot an error, or have a question, please do let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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