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From Persecution to Prison: The Health Consequences of Detention for Asylum Seekers

Friday, November 21, 2003

Abstract:

A new groundbreaking report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture documents the harmful impact of imprisonment on the health and well-being of asylum seekers. The report, From Persecution to Prison: The Health Consequences of Detention for Asylum Seekers, is the first systematic and most comprehensive scientific study examining the health of detained asylum seekers. The study found that the mental health of asylum seekers interviewed for this study was extremely poor and worsened the longer the individuals were in detention. High levels of anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be attributed to the length of detention time and access to mental health services was limited. Many of the study participants also believed that their physical health worsened while in detention. Those who ultimately received asylum spent on average 10 months in jail.
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