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

  • Lay Observers required in Leeds, London and Newcastle

    We are currently looking for Lay Observers within 50 miles of Leeds and Newcastle areas. There are also vacancies for Lay Observers in the London region. The time commitment is approximately 2 to 3 days per month, which can be flexible. The closing date is 26th March 2017. If you are interested please call the … Read more >

  • Chair of PECS Lay Observers publishes latest Annual Report

    Repeated communication failures and inconsistent medical support are causing risks to the health of detainees in court custody and their ability to communicate their defence adequately says Tony FitzSimons Chair of the Prisoner Escort and Custody Services Lay Observers in his annual report to the Secretary of State for Justice. In the report he urges … 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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