VOLUNTEERS are needed to oversee how Winchester Prison is run, as its Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) is looking for new members.

New recruits would monitor standards of care, decency and fair treatment, talk to prisoners and staff, and attend monthly board meetings - becoming the “eyes and ears on the inside”.

The role is unpaid and independent of the prison.

Angus Somerville, chairman of Winchester IMB, said: “We provide independent scrutiny to ensure prisoners are being cared for decently and with humanity.

“This is a position of trust and responsibility - your chance to do something unique and stand out from the crowd. The job is challenging and absorbing but it’s not for everyone. You need to be enthusiastic, open minded, fair, resilient, have good communication skills and the ability to exercise sound, objective judgement,” said Mr Somerville.

No special qualifications or experience are needed and training and expenses are provided. Members must live within 30 miles and be able to dedicate about three to four days each month.

HMP Winchester is a Category B and C male prison for about 600 adults and young offenders.

Rota visits are carried out throughout the year where members tour the prison talking to prisoners and staff about any problems. “We get involved in seemingly small things like family contact or worries about healthcare, to bigger matters like being a major influencer on changes within the prison,” added Mr Somerville.

For more information visit imb.org.uk. The closing date for applications is November 14.