THE independent monitoring board (IMB) at HMP Channings are looking for people who live locally to join them.

Members of an IMB are unpaid volunteers, although travel and subsistence expenses are paid, as well as childcare/carer costs and, in certain circumstances, contributions towards loss of earnings, from the local community and are appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice under the Prison Act 1952.

After an initial training period, members are expected to commit to an average of two to three visits a month, which includes attendance at a monthly Board meeting.

Once members have received their security clearance, they will have unrestricted access to the prison and can talk to any prisoner they wish to, out of sight and hearing of members of staff if necessary, in order to monitor day-to-day activity across the establishment.

This provides an opportunity to report on whether individuals are being treated fairly and humanely and whether they are being given the support they need to turn their lives around.

As one member said: ‘It could be the most rewarding thing you have ever done, and you can make a real difference to prison life.

‘The experience and confidence I gained on the Board enabled me to get paid employment, which I now do alongside my volunteer role.’

If you are interested, book onto the next virtual open evening to hear from some of our existing volunteers. Alternatively, visit to apply.