JRS Ireland challenges the detention of asylum seekers. It is important to remember that non-Irish nationals who are detained under immigration legislation are held in prison, alongside sentenced and remand prisoners, even though they have not committed a crime.
Under Irish legislation, detention for immigration-related reasons may apply to non-Irish nationals refused 'permission to land', unsuccessful asylum seekers and non-Irish nationals subject to a deportation order. Minors are not detained in Ireland for immigration-related reasons.
Each week, JRS Ireland staff visit women detained under immigration provisions in the Dochas Centre (the women's prison) in Dublin. In the course of these visits, support and assistance is provded to detainees in regard to legal, health and psychosocial issues that may arise. Where needed, a JRS Ireland staff member will link detainees with specialist service providers, for example, services for those who have been victims of trafficking for the sex industry.
Support for male immigration detainees is also provded on request from female relatives detained in the Dochas Centre or from the chaplain in Cloverhill (a remand prison in Dublin). In recent years, as a result of an increase in non-Irish born nationals being detained following criminal convictions, JRS Ireland also provides support to this vulnerable group who receive few, if any, visitors.
Follow up support is maintaned where a detainee is released into a direct provision centre or opts for voluntary return to his or her country of origin. In some cases, post return contact is also sustained.
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