Bosworth, M. and Gerlach, A., Quality of Life in Detention Results from MQLD Questionnaire Data Collected in IRC Heathrow (Harmondsworth), July 4–6, 2017 (August 1, 2017). Oxford: Centre for Criminology, August 2017. 

This report is part of our SSRN Criminal Justice, Borders & Citizenship Research Paper Series. You can find the full report hereSubscribe to our series to receive our monthly e-journals with more articles on the topics of borders, border control, migration and criminal justice. 

This report presents the results of a revised Measure of the Quality of Life in Detention (MQLD) questionnaire, completed by 230 residents of IRC Heathrow (Harmondsworth) between July 4 through to July 6, 2017. This represents 39 per cent of the population at the time of the visit. The survey measures the detainees’ perceptions of a range of issues including their immigration case, their mental health and their quality of life. As is standard practice with survey administration, the respondents were anonymized and their responses were not independently verified. The questionnaire was conducted as part of the new MQLD questions and methodology. The following report should be considered as a stand-alone measure, separate to the usual MQLD findings, which will be analysed in conjunction with results from all IRC findings from the present round of administration, to be completed late 2017.

The first portion of the MQLD asks participants a range of demographic questions regarding age, nationality and marital status. This report will begin by outlining these results, however, some findings will not be reported to ensure the confidentiality of respondents. The second part reports measures of activity and service provision in the centre, before moving on to the participant’s views of their ‘quality of life in detention.’ This portion of the survey covers a number of indicators from quality of food, to attitudes towards staff and other detainees. The third part of the report focuses on answers to questions on case work and lawyers.

The final part of the questionnaire includes a new measure of distress. This measure, which has been developed extensive research in IRCs across the UK, helps to determine how well individuals are coping with their time in detention. This is followed by questions relating to ACDT plans and experiences of traumatic events.

This questionnaire has been developed for use in immigration removal centres. This is the third version, which has reduced the number of questions and the period of administration. While its findings are preliminary, some important issues have been identified which deserve greater scrutiny. The report will present first an executive summary of findings, which the researchers have identified as key points of interest. The remainder of the report will contain responses to all questions asked of participants in more detail.