South East Wales

Volunteers to check on inmates in Cardiff Prison sought

Cardiff Prison Image copyright Google

Volunteers are being sought to help monitor standards at Cardiff Prison - especially young people and those from ethnic minorities.

The Independent Monitoring Board, which ensures fairness and decency for all prisoners, is aiming to increase its membership from eight to 15 for the city centre jail.

Duties include checking on inmates in solitary confinement and ensuring cells are adequate.

Training will be given to new members.

Steve Cocks, chairman of Cardiff IMB, said: "We're desperately trying to get a better range of people on the board.

"We're all basically white British so it would be nice to get ethnic minority representation and also younger people."

'Sample food'

He said the role was "challenging but rewarding" - as official representatives of the justice minister, volunteers have "complete access to the prison".

"Our role is to look into all aspects of prison life and bring any concerns to the attention of those responsible," he added.

"We sample food, visit education facilities, monitor the admission of new prisoners, sit in on the governor's disciplinary hearings and a whole range of other tasks.

"We are also called into any serious incidents in the prison, though these are rare."

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