Women leaving detention are prepared for their release, transfer, or removal. Women are treated sensitively and humanely and are able to retain or recover their property.

77. Women are helped to prepare for their release, transfer or removal.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met. They do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • All women, including those released at short notice, are seen shortly before leaving the centre to ensure needs have been addressed.
  • Women are given advice and assistance on immediate needs, such as housing and finance. Every effort is made to ensure that no one is released without accommodation.
  • Women are given reasonable notice of the date and time of their removal and any planned transfer or release in a language they understand.
  • Women are only placed on a reserve list for removal on a voluntary basis.
  • Women are able to inform legal advisers, family and friends of when they are to be released, transferred or removed from the centre, subject to any legitimate security issues.
  • Those being transferred into further detention are informed of the reasons for this decision and about the centre to which they are being transferred in a language they understand.
  • The Home Office informs relevant agencies of women released under licence and licence conditions are explained to women.
  • The Home Office maintains a well-researched toolkit about returning to common destination countries.
  • The toolkit is sufficient to inform Home Office and centre staff of arrangements, including financial support, that need to be put in place to enable the detainee to travel safely to their final destination and to access appropriate local support.

78. Women who are to be removed or released are treated sensitively, humanely and safely.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met. They do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • There is a multidisciplinary review of women who are considered to be vulnerable to harm. Care plans are put in place or amended as appropriate and, where necessary, describe arrangements to ensure continuity of medical care for women being released.
  • Sealed copies of health treatment documentation accompany women when they leave the centre. This includes summary medical notes and other important information. (See ‘Health services’.)
  • Women with substance misuse problems can continue their treatment regime at another establishment and in the community if released. They receive information on harm minimisation and on service provision in their country of origin in a language they can understand.
  • Allegations of assault on women during removal attempts, which are supported by medical evidence, are thoroughly investigated with a view to prosecution, and removals are delayed for this purpose.
  • Women being removed have clothing suitable for the climate to which they are going and can carry their belongings in a suitable bag.
  • Women about to leave the centre are able to have visits at short notice.
  • Women being released are provided with adequate funds to reach final destinations and maintain themselves in the period immediately following their arrival.
  • Immediate housing, financial and other support needs are addressed before women are released.

Human rights standards

Leaving the centre
In relation to expectation 77 and 78 above: Human rights standards emphasise that consideration must be given from the beginning of a period of detention to the detainee’s future after release, including the detainee’s need for assistance on release. Detainees must be provided with adequate clothing and sufficient means to reach their destination and to maintain themselves in the period immediately following their release. See SMR 108; EPR 33.7, 33.8.

In addition, standards require removal orders to be issued in accordance with law and detainees to be informed in advance of their removal. See TGFR 2, 4, 15. Standards also cover conditions of transport and return of property. See SMR 73; EPR 31, 32, 33.4. Detainees must be treated with respect for their dignity and human rights at all times. See SMR 1; EPR 1.

See also standards relating to safeguarding vulnerable adults (in relation to expectations 7–11).