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24 July 2018

Vulnerability in detention: Report highlights policy insufficiencies

Bail for Immigration Detainees have released a report assessing the impact of the “Adults at Risk” (AAR) policy on vulnerable people in detention. Drawing on analysis of 30 casework files, the report finds that there are serious problems with both the design and the implementation of the AAR policy, preventing it from achieving its aims.

BID point out that the number of vulnerable adults in detention remains unacceptably high. They are often detained for inappropriately long periods of time, both before and after their AAR assessment. In large part, this is because assessment is failing to detect vulnerabilities, for several reasons:

Gatekeeper assessments are not up to the task;

There are insufficient links between medical assessments and vulnerability checks, meaning that medical issues are failing to trigger assessments under AAR policy;

Home Office and even medical staff are failing to consider vulnerabilities in the policy that go beyond experience of torture;

Risk assessments mistake the quality of available evidence with level of risk;

Immigration enforcement concerns routinely overrule well-being concerns (for example, maintaining vulnerable people in detention even though actual removal prospects were limited)

Vulnerability is treated as fixed, meaning there is almost no possibility to re-assess even in the context of prolonger detention.

You can read the full report and BID’s recommendations here.