Derwentside Women’s Immigration Removal Centre to be repurposed as all-male facility

The campaign to close Derwentside continues

In October the Home Office confirmed its intention to convert Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in County Durham from a facility just for women to an all-male facility. The centre will expand from 84 to 120 beds. It’s understood that the change will take place in January 2024. The campaign group No To Hassockfield (former name for Derwentside IRC)  have confirmed their commitment to continuing to campaign to close the site down.

In a press statement Dr. Helen Groom chairperson of No To Hassockfield said;

“We have to remember that the majority of women and, in future, men, who are locked up in Derwentside want to be here, want to work and want to contribute. The UK remains the only country in Europe to have no time limit on how long migrants can be detained.

“The No To Hassockfield Campaign has consistently highlighted the unsuitability of Derwentside as an Immigration Prison, given its remoteness, the lack of local legal and migrant support services and its poor mobile phone signals. These views were supported by the government’s own Independent Monitoring Board and recognised in a Home Office communication.  These issues will continue after the change to an all-male facility.

No To Hassockfield recognises that detention without a time limit is cruel, unnecessary and often catastrophic to detainees' mental health.

The campaign would welcome support from mental health professionals to help with a better understanding of the profound damage that loss of liberty and all hope causes for people who are already deeply traumatised by having to leave their homes and undertake long and arduous journeys to seek sanctuary. If you’re interested in getting involved please contact us directly.

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