FOI release

Welfare in Immigration Removal Centres (IRC)

We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:  Do Immigration Detention Centres receive regular…

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We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following: 

  1. Do Immigration Detention Centres receive regular visits from British prison visitors regarding the welfare of those detained?
  2. Are Detention Services responsible for ensuring the standards of conditions within IRCs?

We released the following information on: 16th December 2010:

  1. Each Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) has an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), similar to those in Prison establishments, made up from members of the local community. The IMB is responsible for ensuring that detainees are treated with proper standards of care and decency.
    Further details regarding the work of an IMB can be found at the following address: http://www.imb.gov.uk/

  2. Seven of the ten immigration removal centres are operated by the private sector and three by the Prison Service. IRCs operate under the provisions of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, these make clear that the purpose of the facilities is to provide for the secure but humane accommodation of detained persons in a relaxed regime with as much freedom of movement as possible, consistent with maintaining a safe and secure environment.

Various systems are in place to provide monitoring of IRCs, in addition to the self-auditing by contractors that is part of their operating schedules, each IRC
has a UKBA Manager who is responsible for ensuring that the contractor is operating the centre in accordance to the with the DC Rules. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons remit has been expanded to encompass the immigration detention estate, which includes Short Term Hold Facilities as well as removal centres. IRCs are subjects to both announced and unannounced inspections by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons and their reports can be found on the following website:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/inspectorates/hmi-prisons/