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Yarl's Wood Detention Centre

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with Serco on its management of complaints received on the treatment of women detainees at Yarl’s Wood. (137997)

All complaints are dealt with under a Detention Service Order (DSO). The complaints DSO 7/2006 clearly defines the way complaints are handled, with a right of appeal to the Prison and Probation Ombudsman.

Border and Immigration Agency staff at Yarl’s Wood spend time on the accommodation units and closely monitor the care and welfare of detainees. I am placing a copy of the DSO in the House of Commons Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps he has taken to improve the treatment of women detainees at Yarl's Wood. (137998)

The contract that exists between the Home Office and Serco outlines the Border and Immigration Agency's requirements in regard to the services provided to detainees. The contract is underpinned by an ethos of improving services to the detainees both in terms of care and safety.

A bi-weekly meeting is in place to support direct communication between detainees and the managers of the centre. There is also a system of suggestion and comments books located on accommodation units to allow women and families to give a steer on the services and activities they would enjoy. This system has already resulted in an agreement to produce a weekly newsletter highlighting activities and service changes.