Independent Prison Monitoring

What is an Independent Prison Monitor?

An Independent Prison Monitor is a brand new volunteering role for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland. The role holds statutory authority under the Public Services Reform (Inspection and Monitoring of Prisons) (Scotland) Order 2015. It is an essential role within the Scottish justice system as it helps ensure prisoners’ human rights are upheld and that life in prison contributes to their rehabilitation. 

Independent Prison Monitors will provide an independent viewpoint on the humane treatment and conditions for prisoners in all prisons across Scotland and will conduct investigations either as a result of a prisoner raising an issue or from observations that are made during prison visits. Monitors will also be expected to report formally on their findings. 

See all Monitoring Reports

Independent Prison Monitor Guidance

This Guidance is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary, by the Independent Prison Monitoring Advisory Group.

Throughout this document there are hyperlinks that will take you to sections of the HMIPS website, where more detail on specific topics can be found.

Please Note: Currently, COVID has reduced the capacity for IPMs to do a visit to each prison each week. Where this is the case, ‘Remote Monitoring Phonecalls’ are being conducted to ensure weekly contact with each prison (as per our statutory duty). As this is a temporary measure it does not feature in the guidance below. Prison Monitoring Co-ordinators will provide IPMs with a briefing.