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4.5.08

USA! USA! USA! ... no, that's not right

Lauredhel has a roundup of reports on the negative mental health implications of Australia's immigrant detention policies. After a few months, detainess manifest progressively more severe symptoms of depression and self-harm. It's pretty sobering stuff.

Even more sobering is the fact that from what I can tell, Australia's detention conditions are objectively better than the US's. The reports Lauredhel links to call for the demolition of the "jail-like" Stage I building at Villawood -- but in the US, all of our detainees are kept in actual working jails in the same conditions as the convicted murderers and drug dealers (except for the ones in Sheriff Joe's tent city in the Arizona desert). One report comments positively on the improvements in internet access for detainees -- but in the US, detainees are lucky if the jail will let them recieve letters in envelopes. And there are concerns about policies on letting detainees have "excursions," for example when a loved one is hospitalized -- but in the US, detainees are lucky if they get to leave their dozen-cell "pod."

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