Independent Monitoring Board seeks new members

| March 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

An organisation that plays an important role in the smooth running of the Isle of Man’s prison service is seeking to recruit new members.

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) ensures prisoners’ rights are being upheld in accordance with the custody rules in terms of their treatment, accommodation and standard of care.

Members of the IMB tour the prison at Jurby on a regular basis to listen to inmates’ requests and concerns. Key issues are then discussed at the Board’s monthly meeting and can be escalated to the Prison Governor or Department of Home Affairs for further action if necessary.

The work, which also includes inspections of all holding cells in the Island’s custody suites, requires a high level of commitment and calls for commonsense, objectivity and compassion.

The IMB is hoping to attract a fresh intake of community spirited individuals who are interested in contributing to this challenging but rewarding aspect of Island life. Vacancies have arisen in recent months and new recruits are required to restore the IMB to its full quota.

The Board comprises lay people from a variety of backgrounds to ensure that it represents a wide cross-section of the community. While no formal qualifications are required, prospective new members should have good ‘life experience’, a keen interest in the role and the time and energy to devote to monthly meetings, prison and custody suite visits.

An open mind, tact, diplomacy, professionalism, a decent level of physical fitness and a strong sense of justice are also essential attributes.

New members of the IMB undergo training and always conduct their initial prison visits with an experienced colleague.

An allowance is paid for attending monthly meetings and travel expenses are also available.

Mr Michael Coleman MLC, the member of the Department with delegated responsibility for the Isle of Man Prison and Probation Service, said: ‘The IMB performs a key function and the commitment and knowledge of its members is held in high regard. It is important to ensure the IMB has sufficient experienced members to maintain its high standards and it is hoped that suitable candidates will come forward to take on what is a varied, interesting and demanding role.’

Application packs can be downloaded from the Department of Home Affairs website at www.gov.im/dha or collected in person from Homefield, 88 Woodbourne Road, Douglas, IM2 3AP. Any queries should be directed to karl.cubbon@dha.gov.im or telephone 694323.

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 4 April 2014.

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