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

Date published: 09 April 2024

The Department of Justice is recruiting members to the Independent Monitoring Board, who play a crucial role in the oversight of prisons.

Justice Minister Naomi Long said: “The Independent Monitoring Board members provide a vital function in our prison system, monitoring the treatment of prisoners and the conditions of their imprisonment.  Members are impartial observers of all aspects of the prison regime and have a real opportunity to make a tangible difference to people’s lives.  I encourage anyone with an interest in this area of work, who think they have the appropriate skills, to apply for this rewarding role.”

IMB members are a regular presence in the prison establishments, reporting on the conditions in detention and the treatment of prisoners. This role also provides an opportunity to gain transferable employment skills such as decision making, teamwork and influencing others.

This opportunity is open to those over 18 and no formal qualifications are required for the role.  It is more important that volunteers are effective communicators, enthusiastic, open minded, empathetic and have the ability to make sound, objective judgements.

Find out more about what the role of an IMB member involves on our Youtube channel

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

Notes to editors: 

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. Please submit your application by 30th April for consideration in May. Members will be appointed once security clearance has 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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