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Appointment of Experts to the Inquiry

At the preliminary hearing of 14 December, the Inquiry Chair, Kate Eves, announced that she had decided to appoint two experts to the Inquiry: Professor Mary Bosworth and Dr Jake Hard. Professor Bosworth will act as the cultural expert to the Inquiry and Dr Hard as the medical expert.

Professor Mary Bosworth is the Director of the Centre for Criminology and Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford. She has conducted extensive research into daily life within the detained environment, including immigration removal centres (IRCs). Her recent work has included a study at Brook House IRC. Professor Bosworth has a particular interest in the relationships between IRC staff and detainees, and in the role of race and gender within the culture of IRCs.

Professor Bosworth has been asked to examine the staff and management structure, arrangements and culture at Brook House between April and August 2017, and to include within her work an examination of the extent to which, if at all, issues of gender, race and language played any part in any mistreatment of detainees. Professor Bosworth will also consider the existence and prevalence of any other factors. A key part of her work will be to provide expert opinion and evidence in respect of the identification of practices, policies, procedures and systems that could be improved to minimise the risk of mistreatment in the future.

Dr Jake Hard is a GP with substantial experience of clinical practice within the detained environment. He has a particular interest in substance misuse. He has been a member of the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) Secure Environments Group since 2007 and has been the Chair since 2016. He is the Clinical Lead for the Health Justice Information Service project with NHS England Health and Justice. He is Medical Director for prisons at CRG (Castlerock Recruitment Group) Health Services.

Dr Hard’s work will focus on clinical issues. He will examine the medical records of individual detainees and will also look at clinical provision more widely. His work will include consideration of the operation at Brook House in the relevant period of Rules 34 and 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, and the use of the Adults at Risk policy. He will address mental health provision, the clinical management of self-harm and food and fluid refusal, and the relevance, if any, of substance misuse in the mistreatment of detainees. Dr Hard’s opinion and evidence will also be sought on a vital element of the Inquiry’s work which will be the identification of areas for improvement that might minimise the risk of mistreatment of detainees in the future.