Working for one of Serco's Australian detainee centres - A guard's illustrated account
Click the image above to be directed to this illustration.
This is an absolutely fantastic piece of illustrated writing. I cannot recommend it highly enough if you want to understand the conditions faced by detainees in Australia, by someone who has encountered it first hand. However, the guard goes one step further to include the effects working for Serco had on his personal relationships, mental health and well-being. It is important to remember that Serco operate all over the world including within the UK. They have, with G4S, become the leading companies to fight for privatisation contracts within our criminal justice, prison and probation service. If this is what we can expect for our inmates and perhaps even our guards, this is in no way 'good news'. Perhaps there are similar stories happening within the UK right now.
A few facts about detention:
Australia: Australia's Migration Act 1958 requires people who are not Australian citizens and do not hold a valid visa to be detained. People in Australia without a valid visa are unlawful non-citizens. This could have happened because: they have arrived without a visa, overstayed their visa or their visa was cancelled. An estimated 5,867 people are currently detained in centres or 'alternative places of detention' with 1,006 of those being children under eighteen years old (January 31st, 2014 - statistics). The most common nationalities: Iran, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine Authority and 'other'.
UK: The UK's immigration detention is one of the largest in Europe. The single most common category of immigration detainees is those who have sought asylum at some point. In 2013 there was 30,387 people entering detention facilities which is an increase of 6% from 2012. However, only 3,115 were still in detention by the end of September 2013. 65 of those were children (down from nearly 1,000 children in 2009). 62% of detainees were detained for 29 days with 5% having been detained for one to two years. The most common nationalities seeking asylum are: Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Syria, Albania, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Libya, India, Nigeria and 'other'. It is important to note the 'other' category accounted for the highest number of applications.
Source 2: http://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/briefings/immigration-detention-uk
BA Criminology & Sociology
University of Kent
Third year undergraduate