Do you have an interest in prisons and improving prison life?

Date published: 23 September 2023

The Department of Justice is looking for people who are interested in prisons and prison life to join the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB).

IMB graphic

The IMB plays a crucial role in the independent oversight of prisons within Northern Ireland, with Members acting as impartial observers of all aspects of the prison regime.

This is a voluntary role where you can make a real difference to people’s lives in addition to learning new skills.  IMB Members are a regular presence in the prison establishments, reporting on the conditions in detention and the treatment of prisoners. This experience also provides you with the opportunity to gain transferable employment skills such as decision making, teamwork and influencing others.

No formal qualifications are required and this opportunity is open to all over 18 years.  It is more important that volunteers are effective communicators, enthusiastic, open minded, empathetic and have the ability to make sound, objective judgements.

WATCH: Find out more about what the role of an IMB member involves on our Youtube channel at IMB-volunteers 

For further information and how to apply is available at the publication section of this website. 


Notes to editors: 

1.  A Candidate Information Pack and Application Form are available at the publication section of this website.

2.  Copies are also available as follows:


By writing to: IMB Recruitment


100 Belfast Road


County Down

BT18 3QY

Members are initially appointed for a period of three years, with a possibility of re-appointment for a further two terms, up to a maximum of nine years. Members must reside in Northern Ireland.

3.  New Members will be appointed to either Maghaberry Prison, Magilligan Prison or Hydebank Wood College and Women’s Prison. 

4.  Interviews will take place in May and November. Members will be appointed once the security clearances have been completed successfully.

5.  We encourage people from all sections of the community to apply and would particularly welcome applicants from an ethnic minority background, those who have a disability and young people, as they are currently under represented within the IMB.

6.  IMB Members are volunteers and do not receive remuneration for their time spent on IMB business. Reasonable travel and subsistence is payable at Northern Ireland Civil Service rates. Members must live in Northern Ireland.

7.  Further details of the responsibilities and personal qualities required are contained in the Candidate Information Pack. The Candidate Information Pack and Application Form can be provided in alternative formats and applicants requiring assistance will be facilitated on request.

8.  Applicants are required to undertake a familiarisation visit to a prison ahead of interview.

9.  The Department of Justice is committed to the principles of public appointments based on merit with openness and transparency of process. The Department is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all applicants. Applications are welcomed regardless of age, gender, disability, marital status, religion, ethnic origin, political opinion, sexual orientation or whether or not you have dependants.  

10.  The statutory role of the IMB is set out in the Prison and Young Offenders Centre Rules (Northern Ireland) 1995.

11.  For media enquiries contact the Department of Justice Press Office via email  

12.  The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours 028 9037 8110.

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