The impact of detention

The deprivation of liberty is a radical measure. It is very difficult to understand that people who have committed no crime are put behind bars for administrative reasons.

The setting of detention centres resembles those of prisons, e.g. through the presence of guards, high walls, bars on windows, barbed wire, as well as a system of sanctions.

Detention makes people vulnerable and causes physical and psychological distress. Because of the permanent uncertainty in which those people live, closed centres are places of stress and frustration. Detainees are isolated from the outside world. The centres are often difficult to reach, making visits by relatives difficult and let people feel abandoned.

Autonomy is very limited. In certain centres for instance, any form of movement is only possible as a group. It is not uncommon that such stressful environment leads to severe depression, self-mutilation, aggressive behaviour, hunger strikes, and even suicide attempts.

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The "Caricole" transit centre