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 composed of local volunteers granted unrestricted access to their local prison or immigration detention centre including kitchens, accommodation and recreation areas, healthcare centres and the chaplaincy.  Volunteers are free to talk to people being held 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 someone has been unable 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 a 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.

Immigration Removal Centers(IRCs):  


Residential and non-residential Short Term Holding Facilities(RSTHFs/ STHFs): 

  • Heathrow STHF: 2020

  • Larne STHF: 2021

  • North and Midlands STHFs: 2022



Archived Reports from closed detention centres: