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Topic: Concerns in prisons

Women sent to prison solely on mental health grounds

In National Mental Health Awareness week, Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) are again drawing attention to the high level of mental health need and self-harm incidents in women’s prisons.

IPP prisoners report increased hopelessness following resentencing rejection

Following the government’s decision to reject the Justice Select Committee’s recommendation for a resentencing exercise for those serving imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentences, Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) have been speaking to IPP prisoners about the impact of this decision, and the sentence itself, on their wellbeing.

Grave concerns at HMP Pentonville – IMB writes to Dominic Raab

On 12 December 2022, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB)  wrote to Dominic Raab expressing their grave concerns about the increasing numbers of prisoners being sent to Pentonville by the local courts in response to the increasing Operational Capacity (OpCap) sanctioned by HMPPS.  When Pentonville was designed in 1842 the OpCap (or then equivalent) was 520. The current OpCap is 1155, and this is due to rise to 1170 over the next few weeks, with a plan ultimately to increase it to 1205. This poses a serious risk to safety, security, the proper running of the planned regime and effective rehabilitation.

HMP Exeter: Independent Monitoring Board commends improvements in spite of significant Covid-19 challenges, but some concerns remain

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at HMP Exeter – made up of volunteers appointed by ministers to monitor whether prisoners are treated fairly and humanely – today published its annual report for 2021.

Report shows continuing discrimination for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in prison

The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) and the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) have today published a three-part report that highlights the discrimination experienced by many minoritised women in prison.

Staff shortages and the Covid-19 pandemic meant that prisoners were locked up for long periods in a very restrictive regime, say independent monitors.

In its annual report for 2020-1, the IMB at HMP/YOI Deerbolt says the prison’s ability to deliver a satisfactory regime was directly affected by the difficulty in retaining and recruiting new staff.