To provide a composite view of the impact of indefinite detention under the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001. Until recently, a number of detainees had been detained under this legislation since December 2001. The impact of this on eight detainees and three of their spouses is examined through qualitative analysis of 48 reports and documents compiled by 11 psychiatrists and 1 psychologist.
Detention has had a severe adverse impact on the mental health of all detainees and the spouses interviewed. All were clinically depressed and a number had post-traumatic stress disorder. The indefinite nature of detention was a major factor in their deterioration.
The use of indefinite detention without trial has severe adverse consequences that may pose insurmountable problems for the prison healthcare system.
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