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A virtual tour of the UK's immigration detention estate.
21 September to 18 Dec 2015.

Immigration detention centres:
Out of sight, out of mind?

Unless you know somebody personally who is detained, you are very unlikely to ever visit an immigration detention centre, know where they are, or be able to imagine what conditions are like for people in detention.

Each week from 21 September until 18 December (International Migrants Day), Unlocking Detention will shine a spotlight on a detention centre – allowing people to share their experiences of the week's detention centre (either from being detained, or knowing or supporting someone who has) and their views on immigration detention in the UK.

The tour will be taking place through tweets, photos, blog posts and other interactive material

justice gap
Unlocking Detention is proud to be partnering with The Justice Gap for #Unlocked15.


Help shine a spotlight on immigration detention

find out more

Find out more - Read some background info about detention, check out the report of the parliamentary inquiry.

Read the blog posts. On Twitter, follow @DetentionForum.

join the unlocked campaign

Join the campaign to challenge immigration detention. During the tour - from 21 September - let people hear and see what you think about immigration detention. Share your thoughts and your photos.

get your MP involved

Get your MP involved. The first-ever parliamentary inquiry into detention called for radical reform of the detention system. Find out who your MP is here. Ask your MP to read the report, and support its recommendations for fundamental change - or tell them what you think should be done about detention.

Share your photo messages

This year we’re asking people to send photo-answers to the question:

"What would you miss if you were locked up, without trial, without time-limit?"

Or, if you have been in detention: "What did you miss most when you were detained, locked up without trial, without time-limit?"

read more




21 Sept to 27 Sept:
Short Term Holding Centres and prisons

28 Sept to 4 Oct:
The Verne
Read summary of Verne week


5 Oct to 11 Oct:

Read summary of Dover week

12 Oct to 18 Oct:
Brook House

Read summary of Brook House week

19 Oct to 25 Oct:
Morton Hall

Read summary of Morton Hall week

26 Oct to 1 Nov:

Read summary of Harmondsworth week


2 Nov to 8 Nov:

Read summary of Campsfield week

9 Nov to 15 Nov:

Read summary of Cedars week

16 Nov to 28 Nov:
Yarl’s Wood

Read summary of Yarl's Wood week

23 Nov to 29 Nov:
Tinsley House

Read summary of Tinsley House week

30 Nov to 6 Dec:

Read summary of Colnbrook week


7 Dec to 13 Dec:

Read summary of Dungavel week

14 Dec to 20 Dec:
Conclusion of the Unlocking Detention tour

Selfie cards

During the Twitter tour, from 21 September to 18 December, download and print one of these messages, take a picture of yourself holding it, and tweet the image to @DetentionForum along with the hashtag #unlocked15


Click on the cards below to download and print

dignity not detention
detention destroys communities
fairness not force
time for a time limit
detention ruins lives and wastes money
put detention on trial


September 2015

On 10 September the UK parliament debated immigration detention. We hosted an alternative debate online. People recorded videos and shared them via Twitter. Watch some of the contributions here...

Unlocking Detention is a Detention Forum project