Independent Monitoring Boards

Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) are local volunteers who monitor the day-to-day situation in places of detention and ensure that care and welfare standards are upheld. They have a statutory role as they are appointed by the Ministry of Justice

They are present in every prison and immigration removal centre in the UK, as well as in some short term holding facilities.

Harmondsworth IRC is in large parts a depressing, dirty place and in some cases has a destructive effect on the welfare of detainees

Harmondsworth IMB Report 2014

Boards are made up of teams of local volunteers who have unrestricted access to their local prison or immigration detention centre - including kitchens, accommodation and recreation areas, healthcare centres and the chaplaincy - and are free to talk to prisoners and detainees without consulting staff.

They are also able to help people to deal with problems arising inside the prison or detention centre. If there is an issue that a prisoner or detainee hasn't been able to resolve, they can put in a confidential request to see a member of the IMB. 

They may also, if there is a serious incident at a prison or detention centre - such as a riot or death - be brought in to observe and report on the way the situation is handled. You can find out more at the IMB website

All IMBs have a duty to make their annual reports public, but not all are available online yet.

Here you will find the most recent inspection reports on each detention centre.