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Concerns Regarding Mental Illness at UK Immigration Centre

Concerns Regarding Mental Illness at UK Immigration Centre

A Lincolnshire immigration detention centre has come under intense scrutiny as a watchdog raises concerns over those with mental illnesses being held.

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Concerns Regarding Mental Illness at UK Immigration Centre

An immigration detention centre based in Lincolnshire has come under scrutiny as a report found that individuals with severe mental health conditions are being held. 

Morton Hall near Lincoln has been accused of detaining one man with severe mental illness for 70 days before he was transferred to a specialist unit. This once again raises significant concerns regarding the treatment of vulnerable detainees in the UK.

It is not the first time that such worrying reports have come to light. In December 2019, the Home Office admitted to the unlawful detention of a mentally ill man who was deemed highly vulnerable; he received no treatment for his serious mental illness despite being detained for two periods between 2015 to 2018.

Campaigners have been urging for an end to the detention of vulnerable people – particularly those who suffer with mental health conditions – for years.

Detention can exacerbate pre-existing mental illnesses or can even cause them directly, particularly since the UK still detains people indefinitely, meaning there is no set time limit.

This is merely the latest in a long string of cases highlighting the dangers of detention for those with mental illness.

In response to the watchdog’s concerns regarding Morton Hall, the Home Office said it would be reviewing the system for monitoring vulnerable detainees.

Detention can exacerbate pre-existing mental illnesses or can even cause them directly, particularly since the UK still detains people indefinitely, meaning there is no set time limit

mental illness immigration centre uk

The report found that, during 2019, four men at Morton Hall were diagnosed with severe mental health conditions but remained in detention for periods of 15, 22, 52 and 70 days before being transferred to specialised care settings.

This was followed by analysis of self-harm incidents, noting a 7% drop compared with 2017. However, the report emphasised that these incidents remain a ‘worrying aspect of life in detention’.

The Independent Monitoring Board recommended that the Home Office implement better screening and assessment of people with severe mental health conditions to prevent them from being placed in detention.

During 2019, four men at Morton Hall were diagnosed with severe mental health conditions but remained in detention for periods of 15, 22, 52 and 70 days before being transferred to specialised care settings

In light of this report and its findings, it is worth noting some key statistics regarding detention in the UK and whether it is always necessary.

The 2018 Shaw review found that more than half of detainees were ultimately released back into the community. This provoked questions regarding the use of taxpayers’ money to pursue lengthy periods of detention and, perhaps most importantly, the decision to detain so many who evidently do not pose a threat since they are often released.

The vast majority of detainees in the UK are not given a set timeframe as to how long they will remain in detention. This inevitably increases stress and anxiety levels for those who are held indefinitely.

The 2018 Shaw review found that more than half of detainees were ultimately released back into the community

Overall, the Independent Monitoring Board’s recent findings, while shocking, are not new issues. This ought to be a matter of urgent change to the system by the Home Office who have long been aware of the issues presented within this report.