Balancing Offenders' and Society's Needs; Life Hannah Davies Finds out How Prisons and Prisoners in the Region Are Helped and Monitored by Everyday People in the Region

The Journal (Newcastle, England), April 8, 2008 | Go to article overview

Balancing Offenders' and Society's Needs; Life Hannah Davies Finds out How Prisons and Prisoners in the Region Are Helped and Monitored by Everyday People in the Region


Byline: Hannah Davies

I HAVE dealt with people I've felt uncomfortable with. People whose files you've seen and know have done horrible things.

"But I remember I am there to do an important job," states Lucy Armstrong who clearly takes her work at Castington Young Offenders' Institution into her stride.

Lucy Armstrong a successful business owner and a member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Castington, Northumberland, is a sensible, level-headed woman.

She says that her work on the independent monitoring boards (IMBs) of prisons, over 12 years worth of experience now, has taught her more about life than anything else.

"You learn even people who regarded as monsters have a personable side, but you also learn of the truly dreadful things some human beings can do."

In her time observing prisons she has come into contact with some of the country's most notorious criminals including serial killer Harold Shipman.

Jesmond-based Lucy, 39, has worked in a number of prisons in the region during her stint on the boards.

Prison Independent Monitoring Boards are made up of members of the public to make sure prisons are run with proper standards of care and decency.

Lucy explains: "You have access to all areas of the prison. This is everything from eating the food to make sure it is suitable, to talking to prisoners about their concerns, to looking around the prison workshops.

"If something like a riot happens or a prisoner commits suicide we're are also involved observing how that is dealt with. It has been a hugely important experience for me," adds Lucy who was introduced into IMB by a friend. "I have had to deal with all kinds of people, it teaches you not to judge - to listen. At times it has been difficult but overall it has been a hugely beneficial experience."

Lucy says it is a delicate balancing act looking at the need for rehabilitation of prisoners alongside the needs for society to punish.

"Everything in prison is geared towards stopping people re-offend when they get out. That is how society gets the best benefits from the system."

Although their involvement is to watch, rather than change, the IMB board members can get actively involved if they feel the actions within the prison will have a negative effect.

Lucy cites the case of Ben, featured on this page, whose chances of rehabilitation looked like they were to get crushed when he was told he had to move to another prison at short notice, away from his NVQ course.

"Examples like Ben's case can really cost society," Lucy adds.

"However luckily the IMB was able to intervene and prevent him being moved.

"Had he been he would have been back at square one, angry his efforts at rehabilitation had failed and without a qualification which could ultimately lead to him becoming a productive member of society."

IMB, as they are now, came in to being as long ago as 1898. But, Lucy adds: "There is a history of members of the community going into prisons for hundreds of years.

"It can be a very closed system inside prisons so that outside observation is very important."

What does it take to be an IMB member?

IMB members come from all backgrounds and walks of life and are a wide range of ages, their youngest member is currently 20 and oldest 82.

The government don't look for any special qualifications as they provide all training needed.

But they look for individuals who are: open minded, caring, committed to diversity, equality and human rights, good listeners.

They should also have confidence, good teamwork skills and effective communication skills.

If you would like to receive an application pack, send your name and full postal address to imb@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk, or call (020) 7035-2261.

Support for those with little hope

DARREN is soon to be released from HMP /YOI Castington. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Balancing Offenders' and Society's Needs; Life Hannah Davies Finds out How Prisons and Prisoners in the Region Are Helped and Monitored by Everyday People in the Region
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.