When we ‘visited’ The Verne…

The first stop of this year’s Unlocking Detention tour was the Verne detention centre.

Last year when we visited the Verne, it was still a prison.  It has recently become the latest addition to the detention estate in May 2015.
This smooth transition from ‘prison’ to ‘(administrative)detention centre’ is, of course problematic – as the building remains a prison.

Very luckily for us, one of our volunteers, Pat, regularly visits the Verne. She shared her perspective as well as photos of the Verne and its surroundings that we have never seen before.

The remoteness of the Verne was mentioned again and again by those who have been there.

But there are people who have noticed that indefinite immigration detention is taking place on their doorstep. You hardly hear real voices talking about immigration detention, so the above podcast was very insightful – including some local people’s ambivalence about it.

We were glad that the tour is bring people closer to immigration detention.

One of the many highlights during the week was a live Q & A session with ‘Dev’ who is currently detained in the Verne.  You can read the storify of all the Q & A tweets here too.

This year, we are also asking people what they would miss most if they were in detention. People send in amazingly beautiful photos, which then trigger the saddest response.

We will be ‘visiting’ Dover detention centre next – another detention centre, on the edge of Britain.

3 Replies to “When we ‘visited’ The Verne…”

  1. My partner has been detained under immigration here for the last 6 weeks prior to this he was 9 weeks at a different location… it’s a 3 hour drive each way for me to visit which I do on a weekly basis and settle in and get comfortable as a Wednesday visiting hours are longer than normal.. I leave my home at 8.30 am when I have dropped the children off to school and arrive about 11.15 ish.. I then leave at 8pm.. The staff vary from really rather nice to seriously

  2. Non compassionate ex prison staff who think they still work in a prison situation.. The visit the drive the arranging child care and all the costs involved is the easy part… The hard part is trying to keep my partners spirits up whilst he is kept there with no real release date coming up… We are currently awaiting the outcome of a Torture Medical from when he was just 12 years old under a section 35 rule and it has taken a lot of very strong words to get the assessment done.. The lack of legal help these people get is unbelievable.. The lack of translators.. The lack of hope many have is just inhuman… Every time I have been there I have seen the drop in legal advice solicitors there and so I see many different nationalities coming into the visiting room waiting for the briefest bit of legal advice and it’s heartbreaking to see such utter vulnerability etched onto their faces… such sorrow in their eyes and so many once proud people who have been abused by their own country to travel to the UK and to continue to be let down by a government who seem to have created the world’s only indefinite immigration detention system… I am a uk national who would never have believed that the immigration system could be so barbaric in 2015… Every person in the verne has their own story to tell… I just hope that The uk fixes up the mess they have made…

    1. Thank you for your commment, Ann, and sharing your personal experience of how indefinite detention damages people. “Every person in the verne has their own story to tell” – absolutely.

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