Volunteer at a prison centre

Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) members are local people who volunteer at a prison or immigration removal centre in their area. They visit the establishment on a regular basis to check that proper standards of care and decency are maintained.

How to contact IMB

A prisoner or detainee can ask to see an IMB member at their establishment.

If you want to contact IMB on behalf of somebody who is in prison or immigration removal centre, please note that we cannot respond to such requests through this website. For confidentiality reasons we cannot confirm, even to family members, whether or where someone is in prison or detention.

Please advise the prisoner or detainee to make contact with an IMB member directly from within their establishment. There are usually simple forms available on the wings which a prisoner can fill in to ask to see the IMB. If they are not sure how to make contact, tell them to look out for people wearing IMB badges and IMB red lanyards or ask prison staff to help them make contact.

If you have urgent concerns about the welfare of a prisoner or detainee or you believe they are at immediate risk of harm you should contact the prison direct or contact the immigration centre direct.

The Government advice for prisoners’ family and friends during the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak is here.


Other organisations who can help:

Making a further complaint

If the prisoner or detainee has gone through the complaints process within their establishment, they can complain to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Getting further help and advice

If your friend or family member is in prison, you may be able to get help from several other organisations. Go to www.gov.uk for more information.

If you are looking for help for somebody detained at an immigration removal centre, go to www.aviddetention.org.uk to see a list of useful organisations.