Sign up for this virtual event on 25 May at 5pm where you can hear from Board members themselves.

Inside every prison and immigration centre, there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) made up of members of the public from all walks of life doing an extraordinary job!

You’ll work as part of a team of IMB volunteers, who are the eyes and ears of the public, appointed by Ministers to perform a vital task: independent monitoring of prisons and places of immigration detention. It’s an opportunity to help make sure that prisoners/detained persons are being treated fairly and given the opportunity and support to stop reoffending and rebuild their lives.

You’ll monitor day-to-day life in a prison or immigration facility. You could be talking to prisoners or detained persons, checking that they are being given access to healthcare and or observing how well those at risk of self harm are treated. You will also play an important role in dealing with applications (complaints/requests) from prisoners/detained persons, which could cover everything from lost property to serious bullying allegations.

Hear from IMB members by reading these case studies, about why they enjoy the role and what you’d gain from joining.

What we ask of you

Take a look at our guide to the application processYou will usually need to commit to 2-3 visits per month, however this will vary between IMBs.

You do not need any particular qualifications or experience, as we will provide all necessary training and support you need during a 12 month training and mentoring period.

We welcome people from all walks of life- you just need to be over 18, enthusiastic, open minded, a natural communicator and possess sound, objective judgement.

This is an unpaid, voluntary role, but we pay your travel expenses and in certain circumstances, some loss of earnings and childcare/carer costs.

We are particularly keen to hear from young people, those of working age and individuals from minority ethnic communities since these groups are under-represented on our existing Boards.

If a former IMB Member wishes to re-join the IMB they can do so but there must be a three year gap before applications can be made to rejoin any previous IMB of which they were a member.

All members are subject to the IMB Code of Conduct (PDF), developed in line with the Nolan principles of public life.

For some further insight into the work of IMBs please take a look at our annual reports and national monitoring framework.

View all current vacancies


March 2021: depending on local circumstances there may be adjustments to the timing of the recruitment process and interviews in relation to coronavirus/COVID-19. No candidate will be disadvantaged by – for example – not being able to attend an interview due to sickness or self-isolation.