Independent Monitoring Boards: Inspections

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 10th September 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP/YOI Norwich, published in July 2021, what assessment he has made of trends in the number of visits allocated to IMBs over the last five years.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Independent Monitoring Boards have always been encouraged to submit a monthly return of visits completed and also to state the total number of visits in annual reports. Analysis of visits across all IMBs in 2019 established there were inconsistencies and the Management Board directed a working group of members to explore a fair, transparent allocation of visits to establishments. This group met throughout 2019 and the Management Board accepted their proposals for an allocation of visits that reflected size, type of prison and complexity. This was shared with boards who had the opportunity to submit business cases if they felt it was insufficient. Norwich’s request was partially upheld with extra visits being allocated. The total number of visits allocated across all boards has increased since 2019 when this work was completed ensuring fairness and transparency.

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