Today we publish online initial results from the detainee Measure of the Quality of Life in Detention (MQLD) questionnaire, which was distributed, consecutively, across all seven Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) in operation in the UK, between July 4 and September 20, 2019 to women and in men confined within them.  We hope to administer and publish from a companion staff survey when it is possible to do so.  

As the sector responds to the coronavirus, this report offers a baseline of perceptions from people in detention before the current health crisis. Back then, levels of distress were high in all centres; it is difficult to imagine how people are feeling now.   

This is the first time we have data gathered independently about detainee perceptions of all the IRCs over the same time period. The material from this survey provides a good baseline for understanding the experience of detention. Further statistical analysis will allow us to differentiate in more detail about specific groups of detainees, as well as to try to understand relationships between the dimensions in more detail.  

The survey was completed by 459 adult men and women, who, together, represented 33 per cent of the detained population at the time of the visits. Ninety-two of the surveys (20%) were submitted in a language other than English using one of the eight language translations available.