AVID is the membership network for all volunteer visitors to immigration removal centres, short term holding facilities, and prisons: anywhere someone is held for immigration purposes in the UK. Since 1994 we have sought to ensure detainees rights are protected and to promote access to volunteer visitors.
The UK detains around 30,000 people every year. Detention in the UK is without time limit, and there is no automatic judicial oversight on decisions to detain. As a result, many people end up incarcerated for long periods of time- in some cases even years- with no idea of what will happen to them. A volunteer visitor is often the only person a detainee sees who is not an official. Many feel isolated, confused, angry and frightened. A visitor, acting in lieu of friends and family, can be their eyes and ears on the outside and provide essential emotional and practical support throughout this difficult time.