Lay Observers are independent, unpaid volunteers and work an average of 2-3 days per month. Their role is to monitor the welfare of prisoners in the care and custody of the escort contractors.

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About us

Lay Observers are appointed by the Secretary of State under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (CJA1991), to check on the welfare of prisoners while they are in the care and custody of the Escort contractors. The escort of prisoners from prisons and police stations to courts in England and Wales is contracted out to the private sector and is managed by the Ministry of Justice.

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Latest news

  • Are you interested in joining the Lay Observers and live in London or North West?

    The Lay Observers will shortly be looking for new Lay Observers who live in London or the North West area of the country. Further details will appear on this website when the campaign commences, but if you live in London or the North West area and would like to be informed when the application form … Read more >

  • Our website

    Welcome to the Lay Observers website. We hope you find the information here both helpful and informative. We also hope this site will encourage you to find out more about the organisation & consider becoming a new member, to undertake this interesting, challenging and important work.

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