One of our members, Ben and Jerry’s, recently added a new blog post on their site. It is an excellent post and well worth a read.

It is focussed on a project which has just come to an end in Bedford run by the King’s Arms Project. This Alternatives to Detention project offered support to people who did not have immigration status in the UK. Instead of the Home Office detaining these people, this project set out to offer them tailored support.

Working alongside a team of solicitors, King’s Arms Project helped 65 people access legal advice. 80% of these people were presented with viable options to regularise their immigration status in the UK. That is a quite staggering result. These are people who had reached the end of the line and did not have legal position to stay in the UK. But with the help of this project, they were able to find a way to stay.

What is all the more incredible is that this project was funded by … wait for it … the Home Office; funded by the very same people that fund the immigration detention estate.

This project, alongside the earlier project run by Action Foundation and the ongoing work by Detention Action, all show that there is an alternative to locking people up because of their immigration status. Why does our country have such an unhealthy dependence on detention when there is a better, more efficient, and more cost effective way? You will be hearing much more from us in the coming months as we continue to push this important message!