Write to your MP and ask them to take action to stop the new detention centre for women

Refugee women protest at Yarl's Wood detention centre (2017)

The Home Office has plans for a new immigration detention centre for women in County Durham. The centre is planned to hold 80 women and to open in the autumn on the site of the notorious Medomsley prison, in an area previously earmarked for housing development.

Please fill in your details on the right of this page to write to your MP and ask them to take action to stop the new detention centre.

The plans to build a new detention centre undermine previous Home Office commitments to reduce the number of people in detention, especially vulnerable people. Indeed, it will be the first new detention centre to open for 7 years, marking a shift in the wrong direction.

Most women held in immigration detention are known to be survivors of trafficking, torture, or sexual violence. Detention has been shown to be harmful for women, as well as expensive, unjust and unnecessary.

Women’s immigration cases can be resolved more humanely, and at far less cost, in the community. The Home Office has previously recognised this, and started a pilot scheme to provide support to women rather than locking them up. This pilot project has been abandoned without explanation.

In addition to the harm this new centre will cause vulnerable women, the plans also disregard the wishes of local people. This site had been designated for housing that would have had real benefits for the local community.

Join us to urge your MP to write to the Home Secretary and explain to her why this development must be stopped. All you need to do is fill out your details on the right of this page and you can edit the template letter as you wish.

If you have any questions, please contact Gemma Lousley at gemma@refugeewomen.co.uk.