St Paul's Learning Centre mural

Voluntary role: HMP Bristol Independent Monitoring Board

For more info and to apply visit

Closing date for completed returned applications: 27/02/2022

Independent Monitoring Boards:

Inside every prison, immigration removal centre and some short term holding facilities at airports and docks, there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) – a group of ordinary members of the public doing an extraordinary job. IMB members are independent, unpaid and work an average of 2-3 visits per month.Their role is to monitor the day-to-day life in their local prison or removal centre and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. 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 members of staff if necessary. 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 or detainee has an issue, he or she can put in a confidential request to see a member of the IMB. Problems might include concerns over lost property, visits from family or friends, special religious or cultural requirements, or even serious allegations such as bullying.

If something serious happens at the establishment, for example a death in custody, representatives of the board may be called in to attend and observe the way in which the situation is handled.

Link to vacancies:

Vacancy Description (as per the advert):

We are currently looking for new volunteers to join IMB Bristol helping to ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained. The board at HMP Bristol is keen to improve representation from Black, Asian and any other minority communities in the UK. Candidates need to be over 18 years of age and live within approx. 25 miles of the prison. HMP Bristol is a Category B prison which currently holds mainly adult male prisoners. In addition to this, there are a small number of young offenders. It is a local prison which means it only holds convicted and remand inmates from local Courts; and most prisoners are only incarcerated at HMP Bristol for twelve months or less.

Time commitment per month: 2 - 3 visits per month, however, this may be higher during the training period. Board meetings (face to face) take place every first Wednesday of the month at 1pm

Recruitment Campaign Reference (to be quoted on all correspondence and forms): 1199/Bristol/2022

Closing date for completed returned applications: 27/02/2022