Prisons inspector condemns detention centre conditions - Refugee Council
June 16, 2004

Prisons inspector condemns detention centre conditions

In response to the Chief Inspector of Prisons’ report on Lindholme Detention Centre, Tim Finch, the Refugee Council’s Director of Communications, said:

“This report is very disturbing and is made even worse as Lindholme was condemned by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers, two years ago, yet the Home Office seems to have done very little to put right the serious problems identified there. We hope the government will take action this time.

“It was always a mistake for Lindholme to be so closely located to a prison as it was highly likely that the whole centre would operate like a prison. Anne Owers questions whether Lindholme is an appropriate place to detain asylum seekers and we call on the Government to reassess its use of this detention centre.

“What this report identifies is a worrying lack of care and concern for this vulnerable group of detainees.

“Immigration detainees have not committed a crime. It is questionable in most circumstances whether they should be detained at all. However, if they have to be, the conditions should be decent and humane.

“Owers rightly points out that good access to telephones is essential for detainees as they provide the main lifeline to their friends, family and solicitors. This situation must be substantially improved.”

Ends

Prison inspectorate reports and press releases are available from http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/justice/prisons/inspprisons

Home Office press releases are available from http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Read a report on Guardian Unlimited http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1239557,00.html

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