The IDC Director, Grant Mitchell, gave presentations on alternatives to immigration detention to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry on the use of immigration on 18 November 2014, and to a group of Dutch government officials on 17 December 2014.

IDC presentation to UK Parliamentary Inquiry

On 18 November, IDC Director, Grant Mitchell, gave evidence to the third and final oral hearing of the UK Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of immigration detention. Mr. Mitchell emphasised that there are effective community-based models, which are up to 80% cheaper than detention. He gave examples of other countries, including the U.S. and New Zealand, which have undergone significant reforms of their immigration systems, already reducing the use of unnecessary immigration detention. For alternatives to detention to be successful, proper screening and case management are paramount, he said.

The inquiry, which is jointly led by the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Refugees and Migration, is the first ever parliamentary inquiry to look at the  impact and implications of immigration detention. Significantly, the inquiry has also heard from people impacted by immigration detention in the UK, including former detainees and persons currently in detention. The report of the inquiry is expected early in 2015.

For more information see:

IDC presentation to Dutch officials

On 17 December, IDC’s Director, Grant Mitchell, presented to a group of Dutch officials from the Ministry of Justice and Security, including representatives of the Immigration Services, Return Services and Border Police, as part of a workshop on alternatives to detention organised within the Odysseus Network MADE REAL project.

Presenting via skype, Mr. Mitchell introduced the IDC’s Community Assessment and Placement Model (CAP), with a focus on case management as a key component of successful alternatives to detention. He explained that in Europe, alternatives to detention tend to focus on enforcement (conditions or restrictions), compared to other regions in the world. However, overly onerous conditions actually have an adverse effect on compliance and successful case resolution outcomes.The IDC’s research found that most successful alternative to detention programmes were those that used constructive engagement rather than enforcement to ensure individuals comply and cooperate with migration authorities. Case management is an effective way to engage individuals in asylum/migration-related processes and to ensure satisfactory outcomes without the use of detention, onerous reporting or other restrictive conditions, he explained.