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Introduction

Introduction

Some 24,000 people are detained each year in the UK in 7 Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), approximately 2,000 at any one time. The majority are men, and women are nearly always held at just one centre. A small number of children continue to be detained for a few days at a time.

Detainees are held for administrative purposes while the authorities process their claims to asylum, establish their identities or arrange for their deportation. Immigration detention is not part of the criminal justice system – detainees who have been in prison will have already served their sentences.

Music In Detention provides regular music programmes in about half of the IRCs each year, together with community exchanges, which are projects working with detainees and local community groups in the areas where IRCs are situated.