Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 19th October 2018.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the psychological effect on immigrants of detention without a time limit.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government plans to take to tackle overcrowding in immigration detention centres.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The health and welfare of detainees is of upmost importance. Although there is no statutory time limit on immigration detention under Immigration Act powers, the law does not allow indefinite detention.

Under the adults at risk in immigration detention policy – which is part of the Government’s response to Stephen Shaw’s review of the welfare of vulnerable people in immigration detention - the consideration of any vulnerability, including mental health, is based on a case-by-case assessment of the appropriateness of detention for each individual. All individuals detained also have ready access to medical professionals and health care, including mental health services. In all cases, detention is kept under regular review to ensure that it is necessary, appropriate and takes into account the welfare of those detained.

The Home Office has published guidelines on acceptable room capacity in immigration removal centres, which build on requirements set out in secondary legislation. Capacity across the detention estate is kept under regular review.

In line with the Home Secretary’s statement on immigration detention on 24 July, the practice of accommodating three detainees in rooms designed for two has now ceased.

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