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HM Prison Service - University students create pioneering prison film

A film created by De Montfort University (DMU) students to help new prisoners settle in when they arrive at HMP Leicester has been recognised as a pioneering project.

The film, created by four final year Photography and Video students, has already been seen by hundreds of new prisoners and was commended in the Partnership of the Year category of the annual Leicestershire and Rutland Criminal Justice Awards.

Volunteers on HMP Leicester's Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) commissioned the video to try to raise prisoners' awareness of the IMB and explain how they can help them during their sentence.

The video is used as part of the prisoners' induction when they first arrive. It shows talking heads including prisoners, staff and IMB volunteers explaining how the IMB can help them to raise concerns about their experiences in prison and to ensure that prisoners and staff are cared for with decency and respect.

Governor of HMP Leicester, Alison Clarke said: “This was an excellent joint initiative between our Independent Monitoring Board and students from De Montfort University which produced a high quality, professional and relevant DVD that can be shown to prisoners, new staff and visitors at HMP Leicester to give them a useful insight into the work of the IMB here.

“I am really pleased with the outcome and I felt this was a unique partnership that deserved the recognition of a nomination at the Leicestershire Local Criminal Justice Awards.”

A member of the IMB, Victoria Knight, who is also a Senior Research Fellow for the Community and Criminal Justice Division at DMU, said: “Making sure prisoners get the right information and guidance is part of the decency agenda and for prisoners to know there is an independent body visiting to the prison regularly is comforting.

“This DVD is an excellent medium to communicate this message to people who find themselves incarcerated. We took an inclusive approach to this and are pleased our local university and its students benefited from this experience.”

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