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 2018 reports

Return to Complaints and the IMB

20 thoughts on “The IMB”

  1. Please can you send me a message via email?
    Your website has been a great help and I would like to offer support to keep it running.
    I am a professional web designer

    • Lewis,
      Thank you for your offer of help with DoingTime.
      I regret that I must decline your offer.
      I have been inundated with similar offerings from whom I assume are your competitors, and each and every one of them have offered to:
      • Redesign the web site
      • Enhance SOE (whatever that is!)
      • Make my life immeasurably better etc etc
      The sting in the tail is that they don’t understand that I don’t want to generate more “customers”, I don’t sell anything!, and that they actually want me to give them money which I don’t have for their services!

      So rather than waste your time, or to be rude and ignore you, I thought I would take the decision now.

    • Dan, Thanks for liking the site, its aim is to provide simple information to people without all the political/social/opinions which blight almost every other information source about prisons. If you wanted to give some money to help keep the site pay for some of its costs its simple; there is a “donate” link on the font page and if you keep the site open a “pop up” will also appear.
      Thanks Again for you comments!

  2. My Partner been in Winchester Prison since the 2nd December 2020 and has been moved 11 times despite having a red card against his name. I can’t contact anyone to complain today is Boxing day the 26th the staff are rude Who can I contact at weekends about issues !!

    • Hi, Firstly please note that we have no connection with HMPS, we are an independent organisation just trying to give people unbiased and factual information.
      There are 2 immediate routes you can take. If you are seriously concerned about your partners wellbeing, call the “at risk helpline” where the line is monitored and checked for messages on a regular basis. Alternatively ring the prison’s main switchboard and ask to speak with either the Orderly Officer or the Duty Governor.
      Remember that all prisons run a restricted regime over the holiday period ( prison officers have family too) so I would not wish to raise your expectations as to a fast response unless your partner is deemed to be a significant risk of harm, which no doubt the priosn have already assessed.

  3. Hi my partner has a sist on her ovaries she has immense pain and she is in Eastwood park she has rang the buzzer all night yet they came round and give her parecetamil she needs urgent medical care cam Simone please call me

    • DoingTime is an independemt web site, with no connection with either the IMB or the Prison Service. Best advice would be to ring the priosn and ask to speak to the Duty Governor, the phon e number can be found on Eastwood Park’s maim page

      • Hi I could really do with your help, my son is in prison he has preroll hearing this will be the 3rd one as probation is keep letting him down with somewhere to live. She keeps telling us one thing then doing another, he had framework to get him somewhere Burt he needed to have an interview put the prison will not let him out to phone them and probation is not helping him at all. I phoned framework for there number and I give it to my son framework new about my son as was will to help. However he’s not getting anyway can you help us please. My name is xxxx xxxxx my phone number is 07923 xxxxxx thank you

        • Hi, Firstly please note that we have no connection with HMPS, we are an independent organisation just trying to give people unbiased and factual information.
          Your son sounds like he is between a rock and a hard place. There are 2 possible avenues which may be worth exploring. Firstly the IMB. You do not say which prison your son is in but you could contact the prison yourself and ask to speak with an IMB member who may be able to move things forward on getting your son to be able to talk to his probation manager. Secondly, I suggest your son makes contact with the pastoral staff in his prison ( usually one of the chapel/regilious team), who could help in clearing the logjam.
          Finally, if he hasnt already done so tell your son to get his “key worker” involved, and if necessary raise a formal complaint to the SMT.

          Sorry we can’t offer any “magic bullet” solution, and lets hope he is successful with his parole application

  4. Its no good complaining to anyone about the treatment they get in prison because no one cares or does anything about it, i know boys that are abused in prison both verbally and physically but if they complain it just gets worse. The medical treatment is unbelievable , meds taken away or stopped completely . these are prisons not concentration camps, they are punished by law by taking the freedom away and staff at the prison has no right to bully the men or women in there. I have tried to contact the governors but they dont respond even though theyr supposed to . Surely there is someone out there that can help.

    • If you have a problem, we would suggest the first point of reference would be the IMB of the specific prison/establishment. They may well be able to help you. You can get their contact details direct from the prison, just call up the switchboard and they should be able to give you a contact number, failing that the contact details arew shown on the IMB’s own web site

  5. Please can someone from imb contact me urgently regarding hmp Ryehill and how people are victimised by staff there I have been treated really badly by staff because I bought another visitor a cake for her birthday so she could put it in her locker and take it home so not going in or near prison I have breached security by doing this I have just had surgery on my shoulder arm sling on etc to have my shoulder hit with such force that I screamed out in pain when trying to make a complaint no one listens and if you make a complaint they silence you by banning you

    • Morning,
      DoingTime has no connection with either the IMB or with the MoJ. You will need to contact them directly to progress your complaint, the address and email of the IMB are:

      [email protected]

      IMB Secretariat
      Third Floor, Post Point 2
      10 South Colonnade
      E14 4PU

  6. I have significant concerns with regards to the well being of inmates with Medical Dietary requirements located at HMP Winchester – It would appear that communication between the Health Staff and Chefs in the kitchens is failing significantly. Dietary requirements are not being facilitated. Individuals are left hungry and frustrated. The situation has been on-going for 2 months – APs ignored & no response from the Governor.

  7. My boyfriend is in prison and I sick of not getting a phone calls form him because the prison on lock down and I worry about if everything is ok .But they seem to be in lock down more time then he come out 4 times week . I say to boyfriend that it not just him doing the time it’s the family doing it as well . And when he does ‘nt ring you have to wait until he does ring so then I don’t sleep . It’s a one big joke this government and the prison .

  8. My brother who is in holmehouse prison ,he is a very venerable prisoner who is not well and ,who is now being without eletric since 12pm today and now is threatening to his own life .i no this has he has called to say rhis so on the 4th sept i contacked hmp holme house at 7.45pm to araize my concerns of his welfare and his cell mate.who is also vefy get help the gaurd who answerd the phone a lady officer asurerd me that my brother will be ok and what ever his problem will be resolvedlets hope so

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

    • 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 xxxx 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.



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