A group which regularly visits a sex offender prison near Rugby to ensure rehabilitation programmes are up to scratch is asking for more volunteers.
The Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Rye Hill at Onley wants local people to come forward to help it in its mission – to make sure prisoners are being helped to change their lives before they are released.
HMP Rye Hill is a category B prison and in 2014 was switched to only hold men over 21 convicted of sexual offences.
Sheila Davie, chairman of IMB Rye Hill said: “Recent articles in the news about HMP Rye Hill have explained that it has now become a prison just for sex offenders.
“The topic of sex offenders can be a highly emotive one but have you ever wondered what happens in a sex offender prison to ensure that when these prisoners are released they are no longer a risk to the public?
“A small group of volunteers have the task of regularly visiting the prison and satisfying themselves as to the humane and just treatment of those held within its prison and, very importantly, the range and adequacy of the programmes preparing them for release.
“This group of volunteers is called the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) and can report directly to the Secretary of State if it finds that conditions are no as expected.
“The current members of the IMB at Rye Hill are looking for more people to help with this important task; so if you are a local resident who appreciates the importance of ensuring that sex offenders are properly rehabilitated, and you have three to four days a month available, please contact us to find out more.”
The prison holds around 620 category B and C prisoners. Around 10 per cent are serving life sentences, and approximately a further 15 per cent are held under indeterminate sentences for public protection. Some 40 per cent of the prisoners are aged over 50.