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Asylum Seekers, Feltham Young Offenders Institution

Volume 620: debated on Thursday 21 December 2000

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether any asylum seekers are at present held in Feltham Young Offenders Institution; and, if so, how many. [HL164]

There are currently three immigration detainees held in Feltham Young Offenders Institution, all of whom were initially detained in dedicated immigration detention accommodation. Whilst there, they were all involved in incidents which indicated that they were unsuitable to remain in immigration detention centres because of the risk they posed to safety and security.Young persons aged between 18 and 21 are detained in Young Offenders Institutions only in circumstances where they pose a high risk to security and control.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will give an undertaking not to detain asylum seekers in Feltham Young Offenders Institution in future. [HL165]

The Government accept that in a minority of cases it is necessary to detain immigration offenders in prisons because they present a high risk to security and control to a degree which is not appropriate to the current immigration detention estate. Occasionally, individuals requiring this additional security and control will be over 18 but under 21 and are more appropriately detained in young offenders institutions than in prisons. We are not therefore able to give the undertaking which is sought.The ongoing strategic expansion of the dedicated immigration detention estate will see a gradual reduction in the need to use prisons and YOIs for this purpose.