Recently the evaluation report of the second Home Office funded alternative to detention pilot project was published.

A two-year pilot ran by King’s Arms Project, in Bedfordshire, demonstrates a cost-effective and more humane alternative to detention centres.

  • Being two-thirds cheaper than a detention centre.
  • With 80% of clients being offered viable options to regularise their immigration status.

The UNHCR commissioned the National Centre for Social Research to conduct independent research into the pilot.

These are the highlights:

Cost Effective – analysis shows the Cost of Detention of the clients supported would have been approximately two-thirds more expensive than the pilot Refugee and Migrant Advice Service.

With 80% of clients having viable options to regularise their immigration status.

Participants gained a better understanding of their rights. A King’s Arms Project Caseworker explained: “Almost all participants indicated that they had a better understanding of their immigration options and a more comprehensive understanding of their case than before the joining the pilot.”

The right mix – the combination of holistic support and legal counselling was central to the success of the pilot.

Caseworkers played an important role in ensuring that participants understood the legal advice provided to them. ‘King’s Arms Project stakeholders described the holistic nature of the support they provided as a key factor in enabling successful case management. And that holistic support combined with the clarity of legal advice formed the crux of the pilot’s success.’

A collaborative approach between the Home Office and the voluntary sector proves promising. We can work together to bring about positive solutions for refugees and migrants.

Do take a look at this important new report and help us to spread the word that there is a compassionate and practical alternative to immigration detention.