Statewatch article: RefNo# 35289
UK: Yarl's Wood: migrant detention centre condemned again
Statewatch News Online, August 2015
A recently-published report by the Chief Inspector of Prisons on the Yarl's Wood detention centre says that "in some important areas the treatment and conditions of those held at the centre had deteriorated significantly, the main concerns we had in 2013 had not been resolved and there was greater evidence of the distress caused to vulnerable women by their detention."


"Yarl’s Wood is failing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable women held. These are issues that need to be addressed at a policy and strategic management level. We have raised many of the concerns in this report before. Pregnant detainees and women with mental health problems should only be held in the most exceptional circumstances. Rule 35 processes are meant to protect people from detention when they have been tortured and traumatised or are extremely vulnerable in other ways. Staff should have the training and support they need to better understand the experiences of the women for whom they are responsible. There are not enough female staff. This inspection has also identified new concerns. Health care needs to improve urgently. Staffing levels as a whole are just too low to meet the needs of the population."

Full report: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons:
Report on an unannounced inspection of Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre (pdf)

News coverage

  • Yarl's Wood removal centre of 'national concern' (BBC News, link)
  • Yarl's Wood conditions and treatment deteriorated significantly since 2013 (The Independent, link)
  • And see: Yarl's Wood: The whistleblower's story (, link)

    Movements calling for the closure of Yarl's Wood (and other detention centres) have been growing in recent months. See:

  • Hundreds flock to Yarl's Wood protest, including former detainees fighting for its closure (Bedfordshire on Sunday, link)
  • 'We will not rest until Yarl's Wood is shut' - Chelt Fems join protest against detention centre (Gloucestershire Echo, link)

    More background material

  • UK: Indefinite detention is wrong, says watchdog (Statewatch News Online, June 2015)
  • EU: New report on alternatives to immigration detention (Statewatch News Online, March 2015)
  • UK: Parliamentarians call for "very radical shift in thinking" on immigration detention (Statewatch News Online, March 2015)

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