There were a shocking 393 reported attempts across the detention estate in 2015: the highest number on record and an average of 1 per day.

A staggering 2,597 detainees were on suicide watch, including 11 children.

Campaigners at No Deportations got the figures (which they obtained via  Freedom of Information requests).

The Guardian has the story:

Commenting on the figures released on Monday, [former prisons ombudsman Stephen] Shaw said: “Levels of self-harm are critical indicators of the health of any institution and the welfare of those in detention. Many detainees are extremely vulnerable and experience high levels of anxiety and depression. If implemented, the proposals I have made to the government would improve welfare, reduce vulnerability, and ensure a more effective use of the detention estate.”

A spokeswoman for the charity Medical Justice, which works to improve the health of immigration detainees, said: “We find that many detainees have serious mental health issues, having suffered torture in the home countries and then faced with the trauma of indeterminate detention. The increasing numbers of detainees who self-harm or attempt suicide is very concerning and the healthcare provided in immigration removal centres is not adequate to deal with the levels of mental distress.”

On a related issue, I’ve posted recently about the unacceptable practice of routine detention of torture survivors in the UK.

Posted by Ben Amunwa

Founder and editor of Ben is a commercial and public law barrister with The 36 Group. He gives expert legal advice on employment, public law and commercial disputes to a wide range of clients.

One Comment

  1. […] have a negative impact on the mental health of detainees. Unexplained deaths, reports of abuse and high rates of suicide attempts have all been roundly condemned across the political […]


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