London: A new network of immigration detention units for women is being quietly planned by the Home Office, contrary to previous pledges to reform the system and reduce the number of vulnerable people held. An initial detention centre, based in County Durham on the site of a former youth prison, will open for female asylum seekers this autumn. In addition to the facility near Consett, Home Office officials told asylum groups last week they were considering a number of “smaller capacity detention units” for women around the UK, though it is unclear if the notorious Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire would be among them.
Alphonsine Kabagabo, director of the charity Women for Refugee Women, called the creation of a detention centre in the north-east a “betrayal of previous commitments made by ministers”. Separately, a pioneering pilot scheme to ensure vulnerable women could live in the community instead of being detained appears to have quietly been wound down by the Home Office and will close next month.
Read more: Mark Townsend, Guardian, https://is.gd/kGJqGV