The home secretary has announced that he will consider ending indefinite immigration detention in response to a highly critical report. In a statement to parliament following the publication of a new report by Stephen Shaw, the former prisons and probation ombudsman, into conditions in immigration detention, Sajid Javid said he would review how time-limited detention works in other countries to better inform the debate in the UK.
Shaw’s report is a follow up to his first review which was commissioned by the then home secretary, Theresa May, after years of criticism about the treatment of immigration detainees. It examines the implementation of the recommendations he made in the first report and makes many new recommendations. The timing of the publication of the report was viewed sceptically by some observers. Home Office waited until the busy last day of the parliamentary term to release the report, even though Shaw submitted it to the Home Office in April of this year.
Javid said that the government was committed to working with charities, faith groups, communities and others to develop alternatives to detention, strengthening support for vulnerable detainees and increasing transparency around immigration detention. He added that there would be an immediate stop to the practice of three detainees occupying rooms originally designed for two, piloting the use of Skype, and reviewing the training and support for staff in immigration removal centres so that they can work with detainees more closely. “We have made significant improvements to our approach in recent years, but it is clear we can go further. My ultimate goal is to ensure that our immigration system – including our approach to detention – is effective and humane.”
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://is.gd/1eHtFa