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2 reports about detention in UK from NCADC

 
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ed_m
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:01 pm    Post subject: 2 reports about detention in UK from NCADC Reply with quote

From: John O [mailto:ncadc@ncadc.org.uk]
Sent: 14 November 2006 12:46
To: Recipient List Suppressed
Subject: Global Solutions Ltd (GSL) criticised again for their management of Immigration Removal Centres

==========

NCADC News Service

==========

Global Solutions Ltd (GSL) criticised again for their management of Immigration Removal Centres

Anne Owers HMCIP of prisons published today her findings of a follow up inspection of Oakington IRC in June of this year.

Once again several recommendations from a previous inspection had not been implemented and there were ineffective "mechanisms to detect and prevent racial discrimination, in spite of previous recommendations and the report of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman", "provision of activity and of welfare support remained inadequate". "recommendations on suicide and self-harm had not been implemented, and anti-bullying procedures were weak",

In total 18 recommendations from the last inspection had been ignored and 7 only partly achieved. HMCIP has made 40 new recommendations, including improvements to " basic aspects of safety, decency, activity and resettlement".

Liam Byrne Minister for Immigration responding to the report managed to ignore all the criticisms of HMCIP, concentrating on the very few palatable points.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Introduction from the report:
This follow-up inspection of Oakington IRC was undertaken to check whether conditions and treatment in the centre had deteriorated as it moved towards its anticipated closure.

By the time of the inspection, however, there were proposals to extend the contract for a further three years - though it was unclear what kind of detainees the centre would hold. Oakington had already ceased to hold women and children. It would shortly also cease to deal with 'fast-track' cases, and therefore lose the associated on-site legal advice. Our recommendations therefore include those things that will be needed if the contract is renewed and the population changes.

Oakington remained a reasonably safe environment. It was, however, disappointing that several of our recommendations on suicide and self-harm had not been implemented, and that anti-bullying procedures were weak. This will be of increased importance if the centre remains in operation, and holds men who are detained for longer periods, with no on-site access either to independent legal advice or to the immigration service.

We were also extremely disappointed to find that there continued to be insufficient attention to basic protective race relations structures, such as effective ethnic monitoring procedures. Given our previous recommendations, and the report of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, there can be no excuse for failing to put in place effective mechanisms to detect and prevent racial discrimination - even though staff-detainee relationships appeared to be essentially sound.

As in other removal centres, the provision of activity and of welfare support remained inadequate. Again, these inadequacies were likely to become more apparent and important if the centre remained open with a different population. The excellent work of the Refugee Council, in providing welfare advice outside its contractual responsibilities, would cease as the Council's contract ended. Detainees would also be held for longer periods, still without access to work.

At the time of this inspection, Oakington was clearly an establishment in transition. It was not entirely clear whether this was a transition to closure or to a different role within the detention estate. It is clear that if the centre does remain open, increased attention will be needed to basic aspects of safety, decency, activity and resettlement, with the withdrawal of some key services and a potentially more anxious and vulnerable population. Our recommendations indicate the matters that will need to be addressed and indeed which should be incorporated into any new contractual agreement.

Anne Owers
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Published October 2006



http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmiprisons/inspect_reports/irc-inspections.html/

End of Bulletin:

Source for this Message:

NCADC / HMCIP


Last edited by ed_m on Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ed_m
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From: Emma Ginn [mailto:ncadc-north-west@ncadc.org.uk]
Sent: 28 November 2006 10:01
To: Recipient List Suppressed
Subject: Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre - 'Not fit for Purpose'

==========

NCADC News Service

==========

Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre - 'Not fit for Purpose'

Anne Owers HM Inspector of Prisons (HMIP) has published today a report on Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), the UK's largest immigration removal centre, stating that it was not performing satisfactorily against ANY of the Inspectorate's tests of a healthy custodial environment and that poor relationships between custody officers and detainees were "worse than had been seen at any other detention centre" and was "Undoubtedly the poorest report" issued by HMIP of any IRC to date.

Harmondsworth IRC is managed by UK Detention Services (UKDS) who last month renamed themselves Kalyx. Kalyx claim that they provide "nationally recognised standards of service, delivered by high calibre staff", providing "protection and care associated with the growth of the individual and strength", "attributes for which they are known and respected!" Their mission statement for Harmondsworth says: "Immigration detainees are not criminals. Our contract allows us to fully apply our core beliefs and values to ensure that the provision of services to this vulnerable group of people meets our high standards of care." and "All staff in our immigration removal centre must demonstrate a real interest in working with people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds."

Despite the fact that there have been major disturbances at Harmondsworth and Bereket Johannes was found hanged there earlier this year, HMIP reports that "Suicide and self-harm work was weak"

"This is undoubtedly the poorest report we have issued on an IRC" and that Harmondsworth "had been allowed to slip into a culture and approach which was wholly at odds with its stated purpose" further "It is essentially a problem of management, and it is of some concern that this had not been fully identified and resolved earlier by the contractor and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate." Anne Owers, HMIP

Having just read the poorest HMIP report ever, one would think that Liam Byrne the Minister for immigration cringed. Not a bit of it, it seems - the Minister just, implemented the Home Office's favourite tool - the cut 'n paste job, 'cut the bad bits, paste the good'. His official statement on the report said - "Detention is an essential part of an effective immigration system, but it is critical that it is done with humanity and dignity." Not one line on the inhumanity and indignity that has been the lot of the detainees.

Other HMIP findings include:
* Over 60 per cent of detainees said they had felt unsafe
* Bullying by staff : 44 per cent of detainees said they had been victimised by staff
* Detainees described some custody officers as 'aggressive', 'intimidating' and 'unhelpful'
* Over-emphasis on physical security and control
* Use of force was high, as was the use of temporary confinement in segregated conditions
* The incentive scheme operated as a punishment system
* Complaints system was distrusted and ineffective - some complaints raised serious allegations
* Some healthcare provision was good but insufficient nursing and mental health support.

Download the full report:
http://www.ncadc.org.uk/newszine76/Harmondsworth-2006-report.pdf

"I was detained for over 8 months in 3 detention centres - Harmondsworth was the worst. The guards were threatening and our many written complaints to Management were ignored. Detainees' property was removed with flimsy excuses. Guards claimed that some of the Home Office's own documents in my possession were "likely to incite and offend other detainees".

Mental degradation, depression, self-harm and attempted suicide were a daily occurrence. Bereket was found hanged, leading to a protest by other detainees which resulted in many being put in isolation, denied contact with the outside world and the right to attend religious services.

Setting arbitrary targets on deportations, indefinite detention of asylum seekers and other migrants with no automatic independent review, for profit by private companies, can only result in the sort of findings published by HMIP today." George Mwangi, ex-detainee, available for interview.

"I was trapped in the fire at Yarl's Wood and transferred to Harmondsworth the next day, where I was detained for 3 months before being transferred on to yet another detention centre. I had persistent cough from smoke inhalation, could not sleep and eat. I went to the medical centre in Harmondsworth every day but was only given paracetamol and told to get fresh air. Eventually, and inexplicably, they prescribed me steroids, which made my cough even worse. The Harmondsworth doctor never considered any side affects of the medication or conducted any relevant tests.

Sometimes we were locked in our rooms without any explanation. We were frightened. When the fire alarm went off, it made it even worse. Detainees were running around the room with the sealed windows and locked doors like an animals in a cage, scared we may be burned alive.

Bullying, hate, humiliation and discrimination were the common things staff subject detainees to every day in Harmondsworth. The amount of mental torture the detainees are put through cannot be described by words." Mrs A, ex-detainee, available for interview.

"I saw my first patient at Harmondsworth 16 months ago. He was a Zimbabwean asylum seeker on hunger strike, who was dangerously ill and in clinical shock . He wanted and needed to be in hospital. It took the threat of high court action to get him there. The manager at Harmondsworth insisted - against medical advice - that he be handcuffed, despite warnings that he could suffer a cardiac arrest in the ambulance, and the cuffs would get in the way of resuscitation. The cuffs were only removed after Kate Hoey MP spoke with this manager. (BMJ, 23/07/05, Vol 331:p178)

The latest patient I saw at Harmondsworth this month is suffering injuries inflicted in his home country and he is also seriously ill. There are many aspects of his medical care that are deplorable and have been potentially dangerous to him and to others.

Ms. Anne Owers found that "some healthcare provision was good" at Harmondsworth. She may be right. I have seen the medical centre a number of times. It is clean and well equipped. The doctors are all on the UK general practice register and probably quite competent. But the system of immigration detention encourages them to put their duties to their employer, Kalyx Ltd, which runs the detention centre for a profit, ahead of their duties to their patients. And the system as whole leads to institutional medical abuse of far too many detainees whom colleagues and I have examined." Dr. Frank Arnold, Medical Justice Network

Further info:

Anne Owers: Harmondsworth immigration removal centre - serious concerns
http://www.wired-gov.net/WGLaunch.aspx?ARTCL=42666

HMIP reports
http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmiprisons/inspect_reports/irc-inspections.html/

"In Memory of Bereket Yohannes" + "Detainees punished over protest at suicide"
http://www.ncadc.org.uk/archives/filed%20newszines/oldnewszines/newszine66/bereket.html

"Driven to desperate measures" - roll call of death of the 221 asylum seekers and migrants
http://www.irr.org.uk/2006/september/ha000013.html

British Medical Journal 23 July, 2005, Vol 331:p178
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/331/7510/178-a

Source for this Message:
NCADC / HMIP
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ed_m
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PeterTatchell on the ongoing rioting that followed publication of the report on Harmondsworth at guardian's comment is free

Quote:
During my human rights work with asylum detainees at Harmondsworth I have received persistent claims of grave human rights abuses by some staff. If true, they are so serious that criminal charges should follow against the staff concerned and against the Harmondsworth management company, Kalyx Ltd.

The allegations include claims of physical violence, sexual abuse, racism, homophobic harassment and corruption by staff, including alleged collusion with drug dealing and extortion by some detainees.

These allegations are of serious imprisonable offences, which successive Home Office Ministers have been alerted to but have chosen to ignore. They, too, should face criminal charges of negligence and of failing in their duty of care for allowing these abuses to continue.

Harmondsworth and its neighbouring detention centre Colnbrook should be closed down. They are, in some respects, Britain's equivalent of Guantanamo Bay - a total disgrace to a supposedly civilised, democratic nation.

The Home Secretary and his immigration and prison ministers should be sacked for failing to investigate and halt these apparently systematic human rights abuses against Harmondsworth detainees.

Quote:
I did say these asylum detention cantres are in "some respects" (not all) similar to Guantanamo Bay.

I am not sure this is much of an exaggeration. Sure, Guantanamo detainees may spend three or four years in detention without trial, whereas most inmates at Harmondsworth spend only nine to 18 months detention without trial. So I guess it is not too bad after all.

On another point, according to my sources inside Harmondsworth:

Criminal gangs reportedly operate with impunity. These are mostly convicted criminals awaiting deportation. They are free to prey on vulnerable, law-abiding asylum applicants who have committed no crime.

It is alleged that some of these gangs are allowed access to staff offices to use the phones and computers. This privileged office access is unavailable to other inmates. One can only speculate as to who authorises their access to these facilities and why.

I have drawn these abuses to the attention of the Home Office. Nothing was ever done, as far as I am aware.
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ed_m
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

==========
NCADC News Service
==========


Private companies profit from the misery of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in immigration detention in the UK





The UK has 10 immigration detention centres. Seven of these are run by private companies.


Global Solutions Ltd (formerly known as Group 4) - Manage Tinsley House and Yarl's Wood Removal Centres, Oakington "Reception Centre", and Manchester Airport Short-Term Holding Centre. Cognetas/Englefield Capital - are the parent company of Global Solutions Ltd


Group 4 Securicor - immigration "escorts" who transport detainees between detention centres and detention centres, from detention to prisons and to airports for deportation


Kalyx - Manage Harmondsworth Removal Centre, a subsidiary of Sodexho


Geo Group UK - Manage Campsfield Removal Centre


Abbey Security Ltd - Manage Harwich Short-Term Holding


Premier Detention Services manage Colnbrook and Dungavel Removal Centres and Queens Buidling short-term holding centre at Heathrow airport, their parent company is SERCO.


Since 1992 when immigration detention started being outsourced to the private sector, the 'detention estate' has grown from 250 places to the current capacity for 2,724 persons.


This represents a 1,089% increase in 13 years.


'[i]t is not appropriate for people to profit out of incarceration. This is surely one area where a free market does not exist at the expiry of their contracts a Labour government will bring these prisons into proper public control and run them directly as public services'.
- Jack Straw, Shadow Home Secretary, March 1995


' if there are contracts in the pipeline and the only way of getting the [new prison] accommodation in place very quickly is by signing those contracts, then I will sign those contracts'
- Jack Straw, Home Secretary, May 1997 (7 days after Labour won the general election)


It costs the government over ├1,200 to hold one person in detention for one week. The private companies' contracts with the Home Office are extremely lucrative, and include a fee per inmate per day. UKDS (Kalyx) reported a ├12.2 million turnover on its Harmondsworth detention centre operation for the year to 31 Match 2002 (Prison Service Privatisation Report no. 60, March 2004).


Profiting from the misery and wholesale mistreatment of innocent people by imprisoning them, is not a situation which a democratic nation can endorse.


The legitimacy of detention services being provided by a private industry which is 'incentivised' by expanding its profits and therefore its operational scope, needs to be challenged.


Barbed Wire Britain calls for an end to private management of immigration detention centres, as a step towards their abolition.


Last Tuesday HM Inspector of Prisons (HMIP) issued a report on Harmondsworth saying the situation there was the"worse than had been seen at any other detention centre" and that it was "Undoubtedly the poorest report" issued by HMIP of any immigration removal centre to date. That day, Harmondsworth detainees report that were prevented by guards from watching TV news clips about the HMIP report and there was a subsequent major disturbance.
http://www.ncadc.org.uk/newszine77/HarmondsworthWreckedAgain.htm


Amazingly, Kalyx are still boasting on their website about their "Examples of good practice", quoting an HMIP report from 2003. We find this extremely disturbing and can find no explanation other than Kalyx seeking to mislead existing and potential investors, as well as the public whose taxes ultimately pay the ├1,200 weekly cost of detention.
http://www.kalyxservices.com/harmondsworth_hmcip.htm


What you can do
Do you have shares in any of these companies?
Maybe you should re-think your investment.
Should you be using their other services or products?


End of Bulletin:


Source for this Message:
Barbed Wire Britain
http://www.barbedwirebritain.org.uk/


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