A WATCHDOG which shines a light on what life is like on the inside is looking for new volunteers.

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) at Durham Prison, which is responsible for ensuring standards of decency are maintained, is recruiting for new members.

Members of the organisation, which also investigates prisoner complaints have full access to the prison as a means of making sure it is run properly.

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The work of board members is far reaching and ranges from things like monitoring the quality of the food which is served up to programmes tackling drug and alcohol dependencies and the availability of educational classes.

New members are giving training and support from a mentor for the first year and are expected to commit four half days per month, which are flexible.

Members are also put on a rota to attend any serious incidents, including prison riots and the death of inmates, to observe procedures.

Chairman of the Durham IMB John Davidson said: "We welcome all applications from within the diverse communities the prison serves, and are particularly keen to receive applications from women as the board is currently underrepresented.

"This is an important role that we play in helping to make our communities a better place and I invite those people who feel they can fulfil this voluntary role to apply and make a huge contribution by delivering this vital service”

Applications close on Sunday, July 30. For further information visit www.imb.org.uk/join-now/current-vacancies/