Beatrice Grasso is Detention Outreach Manager at Jesuit Refugee Service UK where, with volunteers, she supports many detained in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres. In this blog, she explains how their mission “Accompany, Serve and Advocate” informs and shapes their work in these detention centres, ‘places most people don’t even realise exist’. Imagine being taken away from home in the middle [...]
Immigration detention is an important issue for many Friends (Quakers). Bridget Walker, who is part of the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network, details the conditions she witnessed and those endured by detained peoples. This blog was originally published by Quakers in Britain. When I first visited someone in immigration detention I knew I must speak out. It is one of the [...]
There is understandably huge interest in knowing what immigration detention centres look like: barbed wire and prohibition of cameras inside the centres increase people’s curiosity. But can you see the impact of immigration detention with your eyes? What does immigration detention do to us? In this blog, Eiri Ohtani (@EiriOhtani), the Project Director of the Detention Forum shares her reflection and [...]
Though no official survey exists, UK is one of the few countries around the world where each detention centre has a dedicated visitor's group, in addition to other groups who visit formally and informally multiple centres. Hundreds of people must be regularly visiting those held in detention centres, but what does visiting really do? Sonja Miley of Waging Peace write how [...]
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 [...]
A must watch video - raw, direct and human - on visiting Yarl's Wood. Take a journey with Sarah Cope, a volunteer visitor with Yarl's Wood Befrienders, as she visits the detention centre.
When I sing, I sing for them. When I speak, I speak of them. When I shout, I am shouting about them.
By Jess Anslow, Coordinator of Yarl’s Wood Befrienders. Visiting women who are being indefinitely detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC is challenging. It is challenging because you witness injustice. Injustice coming from a country that is known and admired across the world for its justice. There is justice in the criminal courts, and justice for victims of violence and justice for the wrongly [...]
This blog post is an #Unlocked15 interview with Danae Psilla, Advocacy Co-Ordinator at Detention Action. Can you remember the first time you visited Colnbrook? What were your hopes/fears/assumptions? I first visited Colnbrook 5 years ago, when I was volunteering at one of Detention Action's workshops. What struck me most back then, was the number of high security doors we came across; [...]
Campsfield House is widely considered one of the 'better-run' IRCs and the last report by HMIP, the official inspection body, vouched for this. Most people detained there, who have experienced other IRCs, like Harmondsworth or Brook House, agree in my experience. But for all that, the effect of detention on people in Campsfield is still profoundly toxic. The fact that Campsfield [...]
We asked members of the Verne Visitors group to share their thoughts and experiences on visiting people at the Verne. We were interested to hear what led them to start visiting, what they discovered when they started visiting, what they thought the hardest part of visiting was, and to describe their experiences a little. David I started visiting in January this [...]