Detention Centres

Home Office written question – answered on 9th March 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what training is provided to contractors' staff at Yarl's Wood and elsewhere; how long such training lasts; and whether it is provided before or during their deployment at Yarl's Wood.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Requirements for training under different contracts for Detainee Custody Officers (DCOs) in immigration removal centres (IRCs) will vary in their detail but service providers are required by their contract to provide an initial training programme that contains a number of elements including: Interpersonal skills First aid training to approved standards Race relations and cultural awareness

Managing the stress and anxiety of detainees and of service providers' staff Identification of and procedures for dealing with vulnerable detainees Security procedures and practice Control and restraint training accredited by the National Offender Management Service Assessment Care in Detention and Teamwork (prevention of self harm)

While there are no specific requirements for the duration of training courses in the contracts for IRCs these are generally between 6 and 8 weeks. For Yarl’s Wood, Serco has advised that their initial training course is 7 weeks long. DCOs cannot be deployed at any centre unless they have successfully completed their initial training course.

For prison officers working at The Verne, Dover, Haslar and Morton Hall the National Offender Management Service is responsible for ensuring that all prison officer grades are appropriately cleared, trained and authorised to carry out their functions.

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