As well as a NPM there may be other bodies carrying out visits to places of detention or undertaking work that is relevant to the NPM mandate. These visits may be regular or may be on an ad hoc basis.
- Internal inspectorates. Many states have established internal inspectorates within or as a government body. They are characterised by their dependence upon the authorities they are meant to supervise. They may be based within a specific ministry or department, for example an internal prison inspectorate based within the agency responsible for prisons, or may be a department in themselves. An internal inspectorate’s role can be limited to checking or auditing compliance with procedures and policies, or broader to include respect for human dignity and human rights.
- Other independent bodies. A National Human Rights Institution and/or Ombudsperson usually has a broad mandate to monitor and promote respect for human rights, and may have the power to examine individual complaints. Some states have specialised ombudsmen institutions focused on a specific topic, for example an Ombudsperson for children or for the military. Although they may not be a NPM, their mandates may extend to visiting places of detention and to issues of criminal justice.
- In some states specialised oversight bodies have been established. These bodies often have a double mandate both to examine conditions of detention in the places under that Ministry’s control and advise the Ministry on necessary improvements. For example, some states have health inspectors who monitor the quality and safety of mental health and disability services.
- Lay visitors. Some states have a scheme allowing members of the public to visit certain places of detention. Members of the public are appointed as being able to carry out this role. They can visit certain places of detention, see the facilities, inspect records, and observe interactions between staff and those who are detained.
- NGOs. Human rights NGOs and civil society groups may get authorisation to visit places of detention based on agreement with the authorities or within law or regulations. These visits may be on a regular basis or may be ad hoc.
- Parliamentarians. In some states members of parliament or a parliamentary commission have the mandate or powers to visit places of detention. This mandate varies; in some states parliamentarians can visit without authorisation whereas in others they must seek permission first.
- Judges and prosecutors. In some states judges and/or prosecutors have the mandate to visit places of detention. This may be to conduct general monitoring of conditions or for a specific purpose, such as to guarantee the individualisation of a sentence or to offer an appeal of the authorities’ decisions.