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Independent Monitoring Panelmaintaining standards of care in our prison

Photo courtesy of the Guernsey Press.

All the info

Summary

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.

Responsibilities

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.
 

Application process

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 eight 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.

 

Skills

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.

Time commitment

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.

Remuneration

There is no salary, it is a voluntary role to assist your community.

Limited expenses will be reimbursed.

 
 
 
 

Rewards

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.

Downsides

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.

 

 

Main information

Go to www.gov.gg/IndependentMonitoringPanel and follow the links for an information booklet and an application form.

If you would like to discuss the current vacancies (closing 31st January 2020), call Emily Grainger on 717359.

Other sources

Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Panel 2018, 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.

Download this information

To turn all of this information about the Independent Monitoring Panel into a PDF, click the ‘download info as PDF’ button on the right of this page.

Corrections

This description of the role of Independent Prison Monitor has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers.  If you spot an error, please do let us know by emailing hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.

If you have a question about the Independent Prison Monitoring Panel that isn’t answered on this page, email us at hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.  We’ll research the answer and then publish it here to help inform others who might be curious about the same thing.

In brief…

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.

From time to time, the Committee for Home Affairs advertises for new members to replace people who have stood down. There are eight panel members.

You don’t need any formal qualifications. 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.

The total commitment is about four to five hours a month.

There’s much more…

To read about the Independent Monitoring Panel in detail, click the ‘download info as pdf’ button below.  Or change over to a laptop or tablet.