Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre

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IRC Morton Hall
IRC Morton Hall secure area.jpg
Location Morton Hall, Lincolnshire
Security class Immigration Removal Centre
Population 392 (as of October 2006)
Opened 1985
Managed by HM Prison Services
Governor Jamie Bennett
Website Morton Hall at justice.gov.uk

IRC Morton Hall is an Immigration Removal Centre located in the village of Morton Hall (near Lincoln) in Lincolnshire, England. The centre is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service, and was previously a women's prison.

History

Morton Hall was originally the site of an RAF base, which was converted into a prison and opened in 1985. It was expanded in 1996, and refitted to become a semi-open women's prison in 2001. Two ready to use units were opened in 2002, increasing overall capacity. From that time Morton Hall has been developing as a prison holding a high percentage of foreign nationals.

In January 2004, Morton became the first prison in England (along with HMP Kirkham) to trial the Intermittent Custody Scheme. The scheme saw some inmates held at Morton Hall from Monday to Friday (released at weekends), while another set of prisoners were held on Saturdays and Sundays (released during the week). The scheme was designed to allow prisoners on short sentences to remain in employment, independent housing and maintain family ties during their jail terms.[1] The scheme was subsequently abandoned in November 2006.[2]

In May 2004, a report from the Prison Reform Trust called for more facilities and support for foreign prisoners held at Morton Hall. The Trust noted improvements at the jail, but stated that more resources and staff training were needed to improve the regime at Morton Hall.[3]

Morton Hall was recategorised as a closed women's prison in 2009.[4] The prison held a high percentage of foreign nationals,[5] and had a resettlement unit for prisoners coming to the end of their sentence who were settling in the UK.[citation needed]

In 2011 Morton Hall closed and re-opened as an Immigration Removal Centre,[4] holding adult males awaiting deportation.[6] The centre was formally opened on 1 June 2011 by Immigration Minister Damian Green.[7] On 5 September 2014 Rubel Ahmed, a 26-year-old detainee, died in controverted circumstances at Morton Hall,[8] causing some rioting and prompting calls for an independent inquiry. In April 2015 several detainees started refusing food, in solidarity with a hunger strike at Harmondsworth immigration detention centre.[9]

References

  1. ^ Allison, Eric (26 January 2004). "'Home and away' prison trial begins". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  2. ^ "'Weekend prison' scheme scrapped". bbc.co.uk. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Foreign inmates 'need more help'". bbc.co.uk. 27 May 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "Centre boosts UK detention capacity". Belfast Telegraph. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Johnston, Philip (24 October 2007). "Britain has two jails for foreign inmates only". Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre". Justice.gov.uk. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Immigration Centre Opens In Lincolnshire : UK National News". Build.co.uk. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Diane Taylor, Call for inquiry into death at Morton Hall immigration detention centre, The Guardian, 7 September 2014.
  9. ^ Chris Green, Harmondsworth: Asylum seekers' hunger strike spreads to second centre, The Independent, 7 April 2015.

External links

  • Ministry of Justice pages on Morton Hall

Coordinates: 53°10′04″N 0°41′14″W / 53.1678°N 0.6871°W / 53.1678; -0.6871

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