Dorset

Portland immigration centre to go back to being a jail

The Verne IRC Image copyright Google
Image caption The Verne opened as an adult male immigration removal centre in 2014

An immigration removal centre in Dorset will shut and be turned back into a prison, the Home Office said.

The Verne in Portland, which opened as an adult male immigration removal centre in 2014, will shut on 1 January and reopen as a Category C jail.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the move was "not predominantly to do with a lack of prison spaces".

The Verne's 524 detainees will immediately start being transferred to other removal centres.

The centre had previously been run as a prison between 1949 and 2013.

The MoJ added the move was "part of work to modernise the immigration detention estate".

The Verne was judged to be "well run" in the latest report by inspectors.

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