Independent Monitoring Board Member

Posted 14 February by IMB

Ordinary people. One extraordinary contribution.

Independent Monitoring Board Member roles

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the walls of our nation’s prisons? Across the country, thousands live in these institutions or are detained at immigration centres. At the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), it’s our duty to ensure that every prisoner and detainee is treated with humanity and respect.

Who are the IMB?

We’re a group of ordinary members of the public, doing an extraordinary job. As a passionate, personable individual, you could join us in making a difference. In this unpaid role, you’ll volunteer your talent and time towards securing a decent daily existence for every prisoner and detainee. You will be appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice and be paid travel and subsistence for the role. Under the guidance of dedicated mentors and an extensive training programme, you’ll commit to a flexible schedule of visits to a local establishment each month. Your observations will have an impact as your Board reports its findings to Ministers in Her Majesty’s Government.

About the role

With unrestricted access to these unique environments, you’ll gain a rare insight into all aspects of life in custody. Impartial and highly influential, you can decide what shape your visits should take. As an independent monitor, you may spend time in a specific part of the prison or speak to prisoners or detainees out of sight or hearing of a member of staff. As well as keeping a close eye on daily operations, you’ll play a crucial role in dealing with problems that arise. This could be in response to a confidential request the IMB, or to observe the management of more serious incidents that occur. As a Board you’ll work as a team and meet on a monthly basis with the Governor/Director of the establishment.

Why join us?

More than anything else, this is a rewarding opportunity that makes a real and meaningful difference to the lives of prisoners, detainees and our wider society. Ministers are obliged to respond to the issues raised in your Board’s report. The environment may seem intimidating at first, but you will be fully supported through your training and accompanied during your visits until you feel ready to manage them independently. This highly recognised and respected role could provide the experience that opens doors into other careers within the justice system.

Who are we looking for?

There is no one type of person who could be right for the IMB because it’s not about background or skillset. It’s about having the dedication and passion to ensure all people are being treated fairly. For that reason, we’re looking for individuals from all walks of life who will approach the role with no preconceptions. You will need to be willing to work within a challenging environment and have the confidence to report your findings to senior officials. Most importantly, you will be able to talk to people in a way that makes each prisoner or detainee feel respected and reassured.

Reference: 39955841

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