Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 23rd March 2015.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many foreign national prisoners there are in England and Wales by (a) country and (b) security category of each prison.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Foreign national offenders who have no right to remain in the UK should be removed at the earliest opportunity and the Government has toughened the system, including by pursuing compulsory transfer agreements with European countries.

In addition, 23,000 foreign offenders have been removed from the UK since 2010 and more than 600 under the 'deport first, appeal later' provisions, with many more being processed through the system. The grounds on which criminals can appeal against deportation have been cut.

Data on the number of foreign national prisoners in prisons in England and Wales is published in the Ministry of Justice’s quarterly population tables, which can be accessed via the following web link:

Table 1.8 of the document entitled Prison population: 31 December 2013 to 31 December 2014 gives a breakdown of the England and Wales population as of 31 December 2014 by country of nationality.

The table below provides a breakdown of the foreign national prisoner population by the category and/or type of prison in which they are held. It should be noted however, that not all prisoners will be of the same security category as the establishment in which they are held. Prisoners with a lower security categorisation may be held in a prison with a higher security designation.

Foreign National prison population as at 31 December 2014 by prison category, England and Wales

Prison Category(1)

Foreign National population as at 31 Dec 14



High Security


Category B Trainer


Category C Trainer




Female open


Female closed








(1) Prisons have been categorised by their predominant function but may have secondary functions. For example, the YJB/YOI category may include some young adults.

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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