Prisoners: Foreigners

Justice written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many foreign national prisoners were held in prisons on 30 September, broken down by nationality; and how many prisoners held in England and Wales on that date had an unknown country of origin.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

At the end of June 2008, the last date for which this information is available, there were 11,498 foreign national prisoners detained in all prisons in England and Wales, and 946 for whom the nationality information is not yet recorded on central data systems. The total includes prisoners held on remand or serving custodial sentences, as well as those held under the Immigration Act 1971 (including those in the immigration removal centres of Dover, Haslar and Lindholme).

In June's data some 75 per cent. of prisoners for whom nationality is unrecorded are remand prisoners. Unrecorded nationalities account for 1 per cent. of the overall population.

NOMS continues to work with the Border and Immigration Agency to speed up the system for removing those foreign national prisoners who meet the deportation criteria. Where the information is not already available, this will include establishing the nationality of individuals, and the relevant country of origin (or transit) to deport them to if appropriate.

This information is published at the following website, and is updated quarterly;

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/population incustody.htm

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

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