Volunteers needed for new prison monitoring scheme

HMP Grampian.
HMP Grampian.

North-east volunteers are being encouraged to be at the forefront of a major change to prison visiting.

A new Independent Prison Monitoring Scheme will be introduced on August 31, taking over from the current prison visiting committees.

The monitoring service will provide greater scrutiny of all Scotland’s prisons, volunteers will go to prisons in their local communities on a regular basis, review the conditions and treatment of prisoners and investigate matters referred to them.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland, which has responsibility for supporting the scheme, is encouraging people from the North east who may be interested in becoming a volunteer at the Peterhead-based HMP Grampian to contact them.

David Strang, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, said: “Independent Prison Monitors will be appointed for each of Scotland’s prisons and young offender institutions.

“They will play a key role in providing a system where improvements can be made to conditions in prisons and the treatment of prisoners, should they be needed.

“We are keen that the monitors reflect society at large and, in particular, the prison population.

“Therefore we are looking for people from a range of different backgrounds, from all ages and with a variety of experiences.”

Four full time co-ordinators will manage the volunteers and the scheme on a daily basis.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should contact www.prisoninspectoratescotland.co.uk or find out more information on the scheme and application forms at HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland website www.gov.scot/about/public-bodies/hmip or at https://applications.appointed-for-scotland.org/pages/job_search_view.aspx?jobId=797