In England:

Ann is a child who is detained under section of the mental health act. There are no hospital places in England. She'll need to go to Scotland. She's transported, and at the border she is un-detained / de-detained / tained and then re-detained under the Scottish mental health law.

What word should I use for instead of un-detained?

What word should I use for re-detained? Is it necessary to use a different word? I want to try to capture the fact that it's another new detention, but perhaps that not possible.

Why do we have detained, but not tained?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Sep 18 '16 at 16:07

The de- in detain does not signify repetition, as it would in constructing a new English word. It's an original Latin de- signifying approximately away from: detinere < de- + tenere, "to hold away from" (one's ordinary activity or location).

The usual word for undoing a detention is release.

Ann is detained, released, redetained, and rereleased.

  • 1
    In the context of the Mental Health Act, the person would be "sectioned" (detained) as per the Act. This term has crept into usage although the word detained is more likely to be better understood by some people. I do not know if this legislation uses its own terminology for release but I do not think that "de-sectioned" [sic] would apply. – Peter Point Sep 16 '16 at 20:21
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    @PeterPoint De-sectioned sounds painful; re-sectioned sounds worse. – deadrat Sep 16 '16 at 23:29
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    @deadrat Quite so. However, I don't appear to have my copy of the Act to hand just now, so I am unable to ascertain if officialdom has appropriate terms for the "de-" and "re-" situations. – Peter Point Sep 17 '16 at 6:37
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    Some of the stuff I've seen seems to use 'discharge', but all v complex so lifting the detention order may not be what they meant by that. – Spagirl Sep 17 '16 at 16:31

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