The Verne

Mapping detention

At Unlocking Detention, we occasionally receive emails from people, including those who say they are journalists, asking us to let them join the “tour”. These requests stem from misunderstanding: some assume we are organizing physical, guided tours of the inside of these immigration detention centres, while we are actually running a “virtual” tour unearthing facts and voices from these centres. While [...]

2018-10-23T14:38:57+00:00 December 4th, 2017|

Week 5: #Unlocked17 Visits The Verne

From the 13th - 19th November, #Unlocked17 visited The Verne, a remote detention centre on the edge of Dorset, which is scheduled to close at the end of this year. With nearly 600 beds, it is the UK's second largest detention centre (the largest is Harmondsworth, with 676).  Alongside the virtual visit to the Verne, this week #Unlocked17 visited parliament for a meeting [...]

2018-10-23T15:14:45+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|

Going Behind the Walls

Located on the Isle of Portland, off Weymouth in Dorset, the Verne epitomises the Government’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to detention. In this blog, Ruth Jacobson of the Verne Visitors Group describes how this isolation compounds the many harms of indefinite detention, how the group seeks to challenge this, and their reaction to the announced closure of the [...]

2018-10-23T15:34:30+00:00 November 16th, 2017|

The Verne IRC: on either side of the razor wire

Maddie Biddlecombe is a member of Verne Visitors Group in Portland and sent us this reflection.  The Verne detention centre is set to close at the end of 2017.   It started with an exploding goat in a dry and dusty land, and now this citadel in the mist is more of a home than the occupant’s land of birth. Within the [...]

2018-10-23T15:57:23+00:00 November 15th, 2017|

Verne closes, Shaw looms

Detention Action has been running advice surgeries every month at the Verne detention centre, which is set to close at the end of this year.  Jerome Phelps, Director of Detention Action, considers what our next task is.   Detention centres feel permanent.  There is nothing like the experience of visiting a detention centre, confronting the walls and locked doors and razor [...]

2018-11-06T15:27:45+00:00 October 18th, 2017|

Week 2 of #Unlocked16: The Verne

This week, Unlocking Detention visited The Verne, perhaps the most isolated of the UK's detention centres. The Verne opened as a detention centre ("immigration removal centre") in 2014, and has 580 bed spaces.  Only men are detained here.  The centre is on the Isle of Portland, off Weymouth in Dorset. The Verne is notorious for its high usage of segregation, but [...]

2016-10-23T21:04:25+00:00 October 23rd, 2016|

Live Q and A with Mark, detained in the Verne

This week Unlocking Detention has been 'visiting' The Verne detention centre, in Dorset.  On Friday afternoon, Ben from Detention Action conducted a live interview with Mark who is currently detained there. Ben alerted those following the Q and A that, as with last week, communication was going to be difficult - the remoteness of the Verne means there's always a bad [...]

2016-10-21T17:08:47+00:00 October 21st, 2016|

The Verne – an exercise in societal segregation

By Susannah Willcox, Advocacy Coordinator at Detention Action. Trigger warning: suicide In August this year, there was public outcry at the proposed introduction of a new Detention Services Order (DSO) on Rule 40 and Rule 42, the two detention centre rules that detail when it is ‘acceptable’ to place people in segregation or solitary confinement within detention. Spelling out guidance to [...]

2016-10-19T06:38:34+00:00 October 19th, 2016|

The Verne: let my people go

By Mo*, 12 months in detention** Detention in the Verne is like being stuck in an island, in an island, in an island, in an island. Your cell is the centre. It is where I am most lonely, forever. I have been in the Verne one year. I am the asylum seeker. No-one tell me anything about the process of detention. [...]

2016-10-16T23:28:05+00:00 October 16th, 2016|
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