Getting In, Getting Out and Getting Back: Conducting Long-Term Research in Immigration Detention Centres

S. Armstrong, J. Blaustein and A. Henry (Eds). Reflexivity and Criminal Justice: Intersections of Policy, Practice and Research. London: Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming

Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2732883

19 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Mary Bosworth

Mary Bosworth

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Blerina Kellezi

Nottingham Trent University - Department of Psychology

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

In this chapter we document challenges we face in conducting ongoing research on everyday life in immigration removal centres (IRCs) many of which relate to the highly contested nature of these sites. Immigration detention is frequently in the news, yet rarely the topic of independent academic scrutiny. The Home Office and the private companies who manage these sites of confinement hardly ever allow researchers into them, leaving most of those who write about such places dependent on NGOs, former detainees or evidence gleaned from conversations in the visits halls. We are the exception to the rule, having obtained and retained permission to enter IRCs to conduct independent academic research in 2009. In this chapter, drawing on interviews and field notes with and about staff, we explore some of the tensions inherent in maintaining a working relationship over a long period of time and in these complex research sites. Though aspects of our experience are specific to IRCs, some will apply to other, long-term research projects in custody.

Suggested Citation

Bosworth, Mary and Kellezi, Blerina, Getting In, Getting Out and Getting Back: Conducting Long-Term Research in Immigration Detention Centres (2016). S. Armstrong, J. Blaustein and A. Henry (Eds). Reflexivity and Criminal Justice: Intersections of Policy, Practice and Research. London: Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming ; Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2732883. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2732883

Mary Bosworth (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Blerina Kellezi

Nottingham Trent University - Department of Psychology ( email )

Chaucer 4010
Burton Street
Nottingham, NG1 4BU
United Kingdom

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