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Inside every prison, immigration removal centre and some short term holding facilities at airports, there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) .

IMB members are independent, unpaid and work an average of 2-3 days per month. They are ordinary members of the public from all walks of life who monitor the day-to-day life in their local prison or removal centre and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. They are unpaid volunteers, and not influenced by the prison establishment.

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. Conversations with the IMB are confidential. 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 has an issue that they have been unable to resolve through the usual internal channels, a confidential request to see a member of the IMB can be made via special “post boxes” on each wing.  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 IMB also ensure that if something serious happens at the establishment, for example a riot or a death in custody, representatives of the board attend and observe the way in which the situation is handled. The boards produce annual reports on each prison, most of which are published, click here for the 2014 reports

Return to Complaints and the IMB

To see reports recently produced by the IMB, follow the links below

Recent developments and publications

3 thoughts on “The IMB”

  1. Good morning,
    I have particular concerns about the regime at HMP Foston Hall, for which I can not see one of your reports. In particular, I am being informed that prisoner xxxxxx xxxx is being treated in a manner contrary to HMP Rules; the rules on her Human Rights and in violation of the rules for solitary confinement written by the United Nations. Do you have an IMB member who could visit Foston Hall to determine whether what I am being told is true, or not?

    1. Morning Christopher,

      We do not have any special access to the IMB at any prison. You will be able to contact the IMB at Foston Hall via the prison; call the main switch board on 01283 584300 and they will be able to help, although experience has taught me that you may have to be persistent until you get thru to the right person. If you are concerned regarding Ms Shaw’s wellbeing and safety, you could also call the at risk helpline on 01283 584319 howver from the little you have told me that may not be appropraite.

      Obviously Ms xxxx can also raise her own enquiry with the IMB via a General Application, asking to see an IMB member. She will be able to obtain the required form from the wing staff looking after her.

      Sorry we could not be more helpful.


  2. IMB in Huntercombe is simply a joke. I was assaulted prison staff at the segregation unit right in front of IMB staff. They stood silent and watched. The same lady returned during my adjudication hearing as witness of the hearing. prison staffs at huntercombe get away with murder simply because no one is held accountable and the IMB there is simply a joke.
    I spent 4 months in the segregation unit after being order to locate to top bunk with spinal injuries. The IMB was shown my medical records and Healthcare disablities report clearly stating I must be located on a lower bunk. But no one asked the Prison Governor or staff or Healthcare questions.

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