One of many unjust aspects of incarceration in the newly opened Hassockfield aka Derwentside women’s detention centre is the lack of fair legal representation. The Home Office describes its immigration detention centres (operating like category 3 prisons) as ‘removal centres’. But this ignores the evidence that many detainees are not being removed at all, because removal cannot apply to them in international law, or because their cases are in reality still unresolved.
It’s vital that detained women in these circumstances have proper access to in person legal expertise.This may be more possible in centres near large cities. But not in rural County Durham, where mobile phone reception and transport access are two of many barriers
Now this injustice is forming the basis for our partner Women for Refugee Women to mount a legal challenge to the Home Office. You can read more and support the challenge by followin the link at the foot of this post.
Here is how The Independent covered the issue on 21st February: