Category Archives: Independent Monitoring Board

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

winchesterThe 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, assaults on officers and disruptive behaviour, according to the jail’s Independent Monitoring Board (IMB).

Despite the efforts of staff, mobile phones are frequently found in the prison, the assessment said.

The IMB’s report said: “The prisoners who are unemployed are allowed out of their cells for just an hour a day for all domestic activity and association.

“This is neither restorative nor rehabilitative and only adds to the frustration of the prisoners.

“It is entirely due to the resilience and dedication of the whole staff and their leadership that disruptions similar to that reported by other prisons have not yet been repeated in Winchester.”

It noted the jail, which holds about 690 male inmates, has had a level of success in tackling the inflow of drugs, including new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Changes in the patterns of contraband were observed following the outlawing of NPS – previously known as “legal highs” – and the introduction of a smoking ban at HMP Winchester at the end of January.

The IMB report, covering June 2016 to May 2017, said: “There has been a reduction in NPS related incidents and the introduction of tobacco as a competing contraband with other drugs.”

Read the full report here:

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… Continue Reading

Shocking Official Proof of IMB Cowardice and Acquiescence

By Mark Leech, Editor: The Prisons Handbook / Cell Companion / Converse Read the shocking official proof that the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) must now be completely disbanded and reorganised  The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at HMP Magharberry have agreed to give the Governor 24 hours advance notice of Night Visits to the prison – despite… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

Knock down Pentonville and start again say IMB

ANNUAL REPORT FROM THE INDEPENDENT MONITORING BOARD:  HMP PENTONVILLE Knock down Pentonville and start again, or urgently upgrade the decrepit, 174 year-old building if the new threats plaguing prisons up and down the land – ‘Spice’ and drones – are to be tackled. That’s the stark message being delivered to the new Justice Secretary, Liz Truss,… Continue Reading

The shocking bullying of an IMB Member who simply told the truth

  30/4/2016 update http://politics.co.uk/blogs/2016/04/29/targeting-the-whistleblower-prison-critic-fights-for-her-job It was a powerfully honest article that many members of Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB) wanted to write (and which many have since applauded) but it has resulted in the shocking revelation of how bullying at one IMB is the price some can pay for their honesty. Faith Spear is the highly regarded… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE! Full Sutton Prisoner in Critical Condition After Throat Slashed

A prisoner at Full Sutton maximum security prison near York is in a critical condition after another prisoner slashed his throat with a knife. Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said: “Converse sources at the jail told the newspaper that the whole prison had gone into lock… Continue Reading

Exclusive! Downview Prison “Awash With Illegal Drugs”

Prison watchdogs have slammed the management of Downview Prison in Surrey claiming that senseless cutbacks have resulted in the prison being awash with drugs. In its annual report ending December 2012 to the Secretary of State for Justice, a copy of which has been seen by Converse, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) said: “Our primary… Continue Reading

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