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

  • Deadline to apply for Lay Observer roles now extended

    Our recruitment campaign for new Lay Observers has now been extended to 23.59 on 25th June. We welcome applications from individuals living in London, and within 50 miles of Newcastle or Leeds. To find out more about this vacancy and to download the application form, please visit our current vacancies page. Please note that 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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