Independent Monitoring Board

A Travesty: The lost opportunity to reform the IMB

From 1 November 2018, the governance structure for the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) will change – in an announcement that critics have called ‘a travesty’. This follows a government consultation, which was reviewed and revised by the National Chair, Dame Anne Owers after her appointment in November 2017, and discussed at four regional chairs’ forums […]

IMB ‘New’ Governance Arrangements Announced – “A wasted opportunity”

From 1 November, the governance structure for the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) will change.  This follows a government consultation, which was reviewed and revised by the National Chair, Dame Anne Owers after her appointment in November 2017, and discussed at four regional chairs’ forums in the first part of 2018 – critics have slammed the […]

Thameside IMB Annual Report: “There are 70+ gangs with members in the prison who need to be kept apart.”

        The Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Thameside, a public sector prison in London, has published it annual report. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Introduction HMP Thameside holds a diverse and fluctuating prisoner population with different needs (young and elderly, remand and convicted [short and long sentences], UK and foreign nationals). Every day it accepts whomever […]

HMP Preston – No Mambulances Since January. Copy that?

The IMB at Preston report the prison has found an effective way to stop inmates getting their hands on psychoactive substances like Spice – by using a photocopier. Preston staff found the drugs were being smuggled into the jail via the prisoners’ mail, after the paper used to write the letters was soaked in the […]

Prisons Inspectorate Issues 4th Urgent Notification About HMP Bedford

Inmates have effectively taken control at a violent, overcrowded and vermin-infested jail, a watchdog report has warned Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke raised the alarm over the potential for a “complete breakdown” in order and discipline at HMP Bedford. Pressing the Government to take urgent action, he said a recent inspection of the prison had […]

Birmingham Prison – A Troubled History

HMP Birmingham, one of the country’s largest jails, has seen soaring drug-fuelled violence and serious disorder in recent years. In December 2016, while run by G4S, the category B prison was rocked by the worst outbreak of rioting at an English jail in more than two decades. Inmates caused widespread damage after seizing control of four wings […]

HMP BIRMINGHAM: BANG TO WRITES

“The first priority of any prison should be to keep those who are held or work there safe, in this regard HMP Birmingham had completely failed.” Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons. By Mark Leech Editor: The Prisons Handbook Two weeks ago when the Gate at Birmingham Prison banged shut behind Peter Clarke, the […]

Winchester Prison: “Teetering on The Edge of Major Incident” Warns Watchdog

The situation at a prison is “fragile” with a prevailing sense that it is “teetering on the edge of a major incident”, a report has warned. It said a lack of staff at HMP Winchester has resulted in a “steady deterioration” of the environment and a “noticeable rise in tension”. There has been an increase in self-harm, […]

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons welcomes new ‘Urgent Notification’ agreement with potential to strengthen the impact of inspections in failing jails

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, has welcomed a new process allowing him to publicly demand urgent action by the Secretary of State for Justice to improve jails with significant problems – a move also welcomed by one of the Inspectorate’s fiercest critics, Mark Leech. Commenting after the Secretary of State for Justice David […]

IMB Reform: National Council to be Scrapped and Replaced by a Chair and Management Board

The Secretary of State for Justice, Liz Truss, has approved plans to overhaul the national governance structure for Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs). In July 2014 the Ministry of Justice received an independent report it had commissioned by Karen Page Associates (KPA) (read the report) which looked at the current national IMB system of monitoring in […]