WOULD you work in a prison for free? An Oxfordshire jail is looking for volunteers to help keep it up to scratch.

HMP Bullingdon’s Independent Monitoring Board is looking for new recruits to join its workforce.

On paper, it may not seem ideal to work at the Bicester prison, particularly as you would not be paid, but Bullingdon's independent monitors claim that it could be the most rewarding work you have ever done.

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While working at the prison you may get called out in the middle of the night - and it’s guaranteed you will end up in jail.

Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) members work an average of three to four visits per month. Their role is to monitor the day-to-day life in their local prison and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained.

Members have unrestricted access to their local prison or immigration detention centre at any time and can talk to any prisoner or detainee they wish to, out of sight and hearing of members of staff if necessary.

A typical monitoring visit might include time spent in the kitchens, workshops, accommodation blocks, recreation areas, healthcare centre and chaplaincy.

There are currently more than a dozen monitors at Bullingdon prison and the team say all ‘ordinary’ people have volunteered to do an ‘extraordinary’ job as members.

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Chairman of Bullingdon IMB, Vicki Talbot, explained that every prison has an IMB which ensures that prison rules and regulations are properly applied, and care and decency standards are maintained

She is looking for people from all backgrounds to apply for the role.

Ms Talbot said: “The job is hugely interesting, challenging and absorbing but it’s not for everyone. You need to be enthusiastic, open-minded, have good communication skills and the ability to exercise sound, objective judgement.

“We’d like to hear from anybody aged 18 or over who lives within about 30 miles of Bullingdon, particularly young people and those of working age from black and minority ethnic communities.

“You don’t need any special qualifications or experience as we will provide all the necessary training and support. The task typically includes three visits a month but we can be flexible.”

HMP Bullingdon holds about 1,100 remanded and sentenced prisoners.

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In its recent inspectorate report, issues of overcrowding, violence and drugs were revealed despite safety and respect having risen from not sufficiently good in May 2017 to reasonably good in July 2019.

If you are interested in working at HMP Bullingdon, either phone 020 3334 3265 or download an application form from imb.org.uk.

Completed forms should be sent to imbrecruitment@justice.gsi.gov.uk and you must quote campaign reference 1011/Bullingdon/2019.