Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre

Home Department written question – answered on 13th March 2014.

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Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Liberal Democrat, Brent Central

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken in response to recommendations 5.1 and 5.66 in the Report on an unannounced inspection of Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, 28 January to 8 February 2013 published by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

In line with a protocol with Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, a service improvement plan is drawn up within two months of an inspection to address each recommendation and outline what action will be taken. The Home Office then has 18 months to effect improvements.

Recommendation 5.1, that detainees held in the First Night Last Night Unit (FNLNU) should have access to an open and full regime in a clean and properly ventilated environment, was accepted in part.

Improvements to access the full centre regime and increased ventilation are limited by the building design and could be addressed only at considerable cost.

At the time of the inspection, women were held in the FNLNU. A dedicated women's unit at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) opened shortly afterwards in March 2013.

The service provider has taken action to improve the admissions process, and to reduce time spent in the unit. The on-site Home Office team monitors access to the regime on a daily basis and lengths of stay in the unit to ensure that these are limited to five days or seven days where a flight has been set. Immediately following the inspection new cleaning schedules were introduced throughout the IRC.

Point 5.66 that detainees should be given a bail application form during their induction interviews is no longer part of the Home Office induction procedures. Detainees are signposted to IRC Libraries, legal advice surgeries and welfare officers for advice and forms to make a bail application.

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