Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre has been the focus of much controversy, including allegations of female inmates being sexually abused. In 2015 the chief prisons inspector, Nick Hardwick, described it as a ‘place of national concern’. Earlier this year a Kenyan woman won a landmark ruling against the Home Office after being segregated in a ‘punishment room’ at the Centre.
The Daily Mail’s recent story on Yarl’s Wood barely hints at any such problems.
You’d imagine, from that headline, that inmates had actively complained, and made a particular point of demanding Western food. However what really happened was that a survey was carried out by inspectors. The ‘too Western’ complaint seems to come from these inspectors, and is not directly attributed to any of the inmates; however their responses did indicate low approval for the food.
A report by Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said: ‘The food that we sampled was adequate, but most dishes comprised Western-style food and the menu lacked cultural diversity. The lunchtime meal consisted largely of baguettes or salad. There was very little in any of the menus to reflect the normal diets of, for example, Chinese or African women.’
Here’s a sample of some of the more popular comments under this story:
Yet another example of the tabloids whipping up abuse and bigotry of minorities through their tendentious reporting.