Independent Monitoring Boards recruiting volunteers

Published: 11 May 2021
Please note, this article has expired

Application deadline: 6 June 2021.

Independent Monitoring Boards play a crucial role in the independent oversight of prisons and places of immigration detention. Appointed by Ministers, members are a regular presence in those establishments, reporting on the conditions in detention and the treatment of prisoners and detainees.

Inside every prison, immigration removal centre and some short term holding facilities at airports, there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) – a group of ordinary members of the public doing an extraordinary job.

IMB members are independent, unpaid and work an average of two to three visits per month. Their role is to monitor the day-to-day life in their local prison or removal centre 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 a members of staff if necessary.

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

Board members also play an important role in dealing with problems inside the establishment. If a prisoner or detainee has an issue, he or she can put in a confidential request to see a member of the IMB. Problems might include concerns over lost property, visits from family or friends, special religious or cultural requirements, or even serious allegations such as bullying.

The areas they  monitor are:-

  • Safety (including violence and self-harm measures, safeguarding and use of force);
  • Humane treatment (including segregation/separation, equality and accommodation);
  • Health and wellbeing (including primary care, mental health, exercise, drug and alcohol treatment and soft skills);
  • Progression and release (including education, training, offender management and p reparations for release or removal).

Board members have access to all parts of the establishment and those held there, as well as to documentation held in the establishment and can report concerns to the establishment, the relevant service, or the minister at any time.

For further details and to apply, visit


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