The first stop of this year’s Unlocking Detention tour was the Verne detention centre.

Last year when we visited the Verne, it was still a prison.  It has recently become the latest addition to the detention estate in May 2015.
This smooth transition from ‘prison’ to ‘(administrative)detention centre’ is, of course problematic – as the building remains a prison.

Very luckily for us, one of our volunteers, Pat, regularly visits the Verne. She shared her perspective as well as photos of the Verne and its surroundings that we have never seen before.

The remoteness of the Verne was mentioned again and again by those who have been there.

But there are people who have noticed that indefinite immigration detention is taking place on their doorstep. You hardly hear real voices talking about immigration detention, so the above podcast was very insightful – including some local people’s ambivalence about it.

We were glad that the tour is bring people closer to immigration detention.

One of the many highlights during the week was a live Q & A session with ‘Dev’ who is currently detained in the Verne.  You can read the storify of all the Q & A tweets here too.

This year, we are also asking people what they would miss most if they were in detention. People send in amazingly beautiful photos, which then trigger the saddest response.

We will be ‘visiting’ Dover detention centre next – another detention centre, on the edge of Britain.