Helping detainees in need of medical assistance

Medical Justice report ‘Death in Immigration Detention: 2000-2015’ – now available to download

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Read our report on ‘Death in Immigration Detention’, launched on the 20th of July at the Annual General Meeting of Medical Justice

At least 35 people lost their lives in detention between 2000 and 2015. Death from natural causes and illness are part of life. However, locking people up in detention centres without meaningful judicial oversight is unnecessary and by avoiding this practice we could avoid the majority of deaths inside detention. Some of the deaths resulted from catastrophic failures, all of them avoidable. Each death in detention is an avoidable tragedy.  No one should have to die whilst detained indefinitely, isolated from their community and fearing deportation to a country they have fled in fear.

Investigations into deaths in detention provide a window into otherwise closed institutions and highlight the ultimate impact of a system that fails to properly protect vulnerable detainees.

In about half of the investigations into deaths in detention, the Prison and Probation Ombudsman ( PPO) directly criticised healthcare provisions with many of the same systemic failures repeated year after year across a range of facilities. In 2 cases, the PPO found that neglect contributed, and for others they found that had the care been better, the death might well have been avoided.

Immigration Detention is expensive, ineffective and unjust. It should be abandoned so no further deaths take place in immigration detention

Read the full report here