Employer profile


Updated: September, 2022

About IMB Secretariat

Inside every prison and immigration centre, there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) made up of ordinary members of the public doing an extraordinary job.

You’ll work as part of a team of volunteers, who are the eyes and ears of the public, appointed by Ministers to perform a vital task: independent monitoring of prisons and the immigration detention estate. It provides an opportunity to report on whether the individuals held within these establishments are being treated fairly and humanely and whether prisoners are being given the support they need to turn their lives around.

You’ll monitor day-to-day life in a prison or immigration facility. For example, you could be talking to a prisoner or detained person, who may be at risk of self-harm, and checking whether they are being given the appropriate support. Alternatively, you could be playing an important role in dealing with their complaints or requests.

We are looking for people over the age of 18 who share our values and commitment. You will need to: be a good listener; always act with integrity; be committed to equality, diversity and inclusion; be able to analyse observed events and behaviour, make decisions and apply common sense. You will also need to work within a team, be a good communicator and have basic computer skills.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) is an international human rights treaty designed to strengthen protection for people deprived of their liberty. The protocol recognises that such people are particularly vulnerable and aims to prevent their ill-treatment through establishing a system of visits or inspections to all places of detention. OPCAT requires that states designate a National Preventive Mechanism to carry out visits to places of detention, to monitor the treatment of and conditions for detainees and to make recommendations for the prevention of ill-treatment. The IMB is part of the United Kingdom’s National Preventive Mechanism.

It could be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. You can make a real difference to the experience of people in immigration detention, not just by monitoring the way they are treated, but also by raising a range of immediate concerns, such as the medical needs of a vulnerable individual, the care of someone at risk of self-harm or the needs of a victim of trafficking

Current member

What the role involves

Volunteers are required to commit to an average of 2-3 visits per month, however there may be some flexibility.
You do not need any qualifications or particular experience, all necessary training and support will be provided during the 12 month induction and mentoring period.

For further insight into the work of IMBs please take a look at our annual reports and national monitoring framework .
All members are subject to the IMB Code of Conduct (PDF), developed in line with the Nolan principles of public life.
Although this is an unpaid role, we pay travel and subsistence expenses, childcare/carer costs and, in certain circumstances, contributions towards loss of earnings.

What you’ll gain

As a student or recent graduate you may be looking for opportunities to develop your skillset and gain experience in a new an interesting way. Or, you may have a specific interest in criminal and social justice. If so, this could be the opportunity you are looking for.

Work sectors

charities and voluntary work


UK wide

Contact details

Third Floor
Post Point 2
10 South Colonnade
E14 4PU

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