Unlocking the future of detention in Scotland

Image courtesy of Scottish Detainee Visitors By Kate Alexander, director of Scottish Detainee Visitors. It’s been a funny few months. Just a month before the beginning of this year’s Unlocking Detention tour of detention in the UK, the Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill, announced that Dungavel, the only detention centre in Scotland would close ‘towards the end of 2017’. You might think [...]

2019-05-28T11:12:41+01:00 December 5th, 2016|

I’ll never forget . . .

Scottish Detainee Visitors asked their volunteer visitors to write a few sentences about a memorable experience they had while volunteering with them - visiting people detained in Dungavel detention centre.  They asked them to start with the phrase ‘I’ll never forget….’Here’s what they said. I'll never forget a conversation I had with a young Afghani man. He was telling me that [...]

2019-04-23T09:59:28+01:00 December 4th, 2016|

Week 8: #Unlocked16 visits Colnbrook

In this week of Unlocking Detention, we visited Colnbrook detention centre next to Heathrow airport (and the high-security neighbour of Harmondsworth). https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804977726901854209 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804986786837450754 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804622389749411840 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804618613520941057 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804388345887371264 https://twitter.com/MIDdetention/status/805087953009700864 https://twitter.com/MIDdetention/status/804640271828914176 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804653844563042304 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/805014469944426496 https://twitter.com/DetentionForum/status/804731860643446785 The first blog post of the week was a heartbreaking photo-essay by Jon from the Freed Voices group.  Jon shares the letters he received whilst he was detained at Colnbrook [...]

2019-04-23T10:02:12+01:00 December 4th, 2016|

Q&A with Ali, currently detained in Colnbrook

This interview with Ali, who is detained in Colnbrook, took place last week and we planned as usual to tweet the Q and A throughout the afternoon on the Friday of Colnbrook week of #Unlockd16. On Friday morning, news broke that a man had died in Colnbrook and that a murder investigation had been launched.  As the interview with Ali was [...]

2019-04-23T10:31:04+01:00 December 2nd, 2016|

Marking the Home Office’s homework on immigration detention: urgent improvement needed

By Jon Featonby, parliamentary manager at the Refugee Council and parliamentary lead for the Detention Forum. As Advent began last year, I was in the Houses of Parliament as part of Sanctuary in Parliament II. On that same day, MPs were debating what is now the Immigration Act 2016. In particular, they were debating an amendment that was aimed at introducing [...]

2019-04-23T10:41:00+01:00 December 2nd, 2016|

From inside Colnbrook: my drawing is my feeling

Jay has been detained in Colnbrook for 3 months.This is the second time he has been detained - he was previously released from detention in 2014. Jay spoke to Ciara from Detention Action about the impact of detention and how for better or worse, drawing helps to focus his mind in difficult circumstances. My drawing is my feeling. When I feel [...]

2019-04-23T12:10:51+01:00 November 30th, 2016|

“A prison in all but name”

Nine months on from the death of Amir Siman Tov in Colnbrook IRC, Michael Goldin reflects on the man he knew.  Michael is an alumni of the René Cassin Fellowship Programme who previously worked for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.  I first met Amir Siman Tov when he called me up at work looking for someone to represent [...]

2019-04-23T12:13:58+01:00 November 28th, 2016|

Week 7: #Unlocked16 visits Yarl’s Wood

Week 7 of Unlocking Detention saw us virtually visit Yarl's Wood detention centre, perhaps the best known of all the UK's sites of detention.  Opened in 2001 at a cost of £100 million, with an original capacity of 900 bed spaces, the centre was burnt down three months later in a fire. It reopened in 2003 on a smaller scale - [...]

2019-05-07T09:13:39+01:00 November 28th, 2016|

Colnbrook, by post

This year, the theme of Unlocking Detention is ‘friends and families’ – we’re specifically focusing on the often unreported, or buried, ‘ripple effect’ of indefinite detention and the way this experience can have tragic consequences beyond the individual detained. In this special photo-essay for #Unlocked16, Jon* from the Freed Voices group shares letters he received whilst he was detained at Colnbrook detention centre [...]

2019-04-23T12:21:04+01:00 November 27th, 2016|

Q&A with Mayalex, currently detained in Yarl’s Wood

This week Unlocking Detention has been ‘visiting’ Yarl's Wood detention centre - perhaps the best known of all the UK's sites of detention, and which will once again be the site of protest on 3 December.  Earlier this week, Ben from Detention Action conducted a Q&A with 'Mayalex' who is currently detained in Yarl's Wood.  We tweeted the interview live this [...]

2019-04-23T12:23:20+01:00 November 25th, 2016|
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