Tinley House detention centre at Gatwick Airport is the subject of a highly critical report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Anne Owers, regarding an unannounced short follow-up inspection on 13–15 July 2009, published today. The report condemned the arrangements for children at Tinsley House as "wholly unacceptable" and criticised the "prison-like culture" and the "limited access to fresh air" of the children imprisoned there.
"When we last visited, we expressed serious concerns at the plight of the small number of children and women held in this largely male establishment. On our return for this unannounced follow-up inspection, conditions had generally deteriorated and the arrangements for children and single women were now wholly unacceptable."
"Since our last visit, Tinsley House had effectively become a satellite of its newly opened neighbour, Brook House. This much larger and more secure removal centre, also run by G4S, provided a single management team for both sites. Managers at Brook House had faced a range of teething problems, which appeared to have been the focus of most of their attention. The consequence, pointed out to us by staff and detainees at Tinsley House, was that services and provision there had suffered, and a more restrictive approach had been introduced." [from the report introduction]
This follows the recent criticism from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of General Practitioners and the Faculty of Public Health in a briefing paper entitled 'Significant Harm - the effects of administrative detention on the health of children, young people and their families' [see] and the recent publicity over conditions in Brook House as well [see].
Other coverage: BBC, Guardian.