Visiting Immigration Detention

Care and Cruelty in Australia’s Asylum Seeker Prisons

This study of immigration detention policy in Australia presents first-hand accounts of more than 70 people visiting and supporting asylum seekers. Documenting and theorising their experiences and treatment, it delivers new perspectives on the profound human costs of hardline immigration policy, both in Australia and beyond.

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Michelle Peterie’s revealing research offers a fresh angle on the human costs of immigration detention.

Drawing on over 70 interviews with regular visitors to Australia’s onshore immigration detention facilities, Peterie paints a unique and vivid picture of these carceral spaces. The book contrasts the care and friendship exchanged between detainees and visitors with the isolation and despair that is generated and weaponised through institutional life. It shows how visitors become targets of institutional control, and theorises the harm detention imposes beyond the detainee.

As the first research in this area, this book bears important witness to Australia’s onshore immigration detention system, and offers internationally relevant insights on immigration, deterrence and the politics of solidarity.

Michelle Peterie is Research Fellow in Sociology at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies at The University of Sydney.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.