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Independent Monitoring Board

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) consists of independent members of the public to ensure a broad representation of the local community, with men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Members are appointed by the Minister for the Department of Home Affairs and hold office for 3 years, or for a lesser period if a vacancy is being filled.

The role of the IMB

IMB members are independent and unpaid. Their role is to monitor the day-to-day life within the Isle of Man Prison, the courts and the Custody Suite at Police Headquarters and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained.

Members have unrestricted access and can talk to any detainee they wish to, out of sight and hearing of a members of staff if necessary.

Board members also play an important role in dealing with problems inside the establishment. If a detainee has an issue that he or she has been unable to resolve through the usual internal channels, 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, an incident or death in custody, representatives of the board will be informed and may attend the prison to observe the way in which the situation is handled.

Members of the IMB meet once a month to discuss business which has arisen in that month from the weekly rota visits made by individual members. During a rota visit, a member tours the prison and hears requests and complaints made by detainees. Members also talk to prison staff and listen to their concerns. These responsibilities are often referred to as the watchdog role. This involves not only being alert to matters of concern, but also raising them through the normal prison channels, and if necessary taking matters directly to the Minister for Home Affairs.

IMB members observe how things are run, the state of the premises and how detainees are treated. During a rota visit, members come into contact with all sections of the prison, from detainees, to staff and management; sometimes the different interests involved require sensitive handling.

What qualifications do I need and how do I apply?

You do not need any formal qualifications to become a member of the Independent Monitoring Board. What you will need are the interest, commitment, energy and time to make a full contribution to the work of the Board. The Department looks for people with:

  • diplomacy
  • open-mindedness
  • professionalism
  • a sense of justice

The Department regularly advertise for new members for the IMB in the press and local media and a recruitment pack is available that contains an application form and further information. 

Further information around the IMB’s role within the National Preventative Mechanism can be found on the National Preventative Mechanism webpage.

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