Sickness in the System of Long-term Immigration Detention

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Bull, Melissa
Schindeler, Emily
Berkman, David
Ransley, Janet
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2013
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Abstract

Since the introduction of mandatory detention of unauthorized non-citizens in Australia in 1992, there has been considerable public debate on the wisdom of such policy. The negative impact and long-term implications of indefinite detention on the health of detainees have been raised by medical practitioners and human rights advocates, with more strident argument emerging over the last five to six years. This article contributes to this debate through a methodical review of the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Immigration Reports over the four-year period 2005 through 2009. From such reporting it has been possible to produce a systematic analysis which can be related to and positioned with respect to previously published research evidence. What emerges from this analysis is evidence of the significant parallels between immigration detention and the criminal justice system with regard to the conditions and longer-term mental health implications for those held in the two estates.

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Journal of Refugee Studies

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26

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1

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Specialist studies in education

Criminology not elsewhere classified

Political science

Sociology

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