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Foreign Prisoners

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 26 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether judges’ recommendations on the desirability of deportation at the end of the sentence are routinely placed on prisoners’ files; and if he will make a statement. (67469)

Recommendations for deportation are retained in prison custody offices along with committal warrants, certificates of conviction, and other orders requiring a prisoner’s detention. They will be referred to when calculating or checking a prisoner’s sentence, a process which occurs at intervals during sentence and particularly as release approaches.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) instructions and (b) guidance have been issued to (i) the director of Bronzefield prison, (ii) the chief constable of Surrey and (iii) the Surrey police authority on procedures relating to the future release of foreign nationals from Bronzefield prison. (67573)

[holding answer 1 May 2006]: In a written ministerial statement of 19 July 2006, Official Report, column 29WS, I provided an update to the House on the progress being made by the immigration and nationality directorate and all of the relevant criminal justice agencies in ensuring that foreign national prisoners face deportation and that this happens as early as possible in their sentence. The Department re-issued Prison Service Order (PSO) 4630 on 17 July 2006 to all prisons including Bronzefield prison. This instruction sets out the procedures and actions relating to immigration matters and overrides all other instructions to governors and directors released prior to that date. You will be able to access this information on the HM Prisons website at:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) illegal immigrants and (b) foreign national prisoners are (i) DNA tested and (ii) fingerprinted before being deported. (68903)

Immigration legislation does not provide any powers to take DNA samples from individuals. Under provisions in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, police officers may take a DNA sample from any person arrested or charged in connection with a recordable offence. Section 141 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (as amended) provides a power for authorised persons to take fingerprints from any person in respect of whom a relevant immigration decision has been made. This includes the decision to remove an illegal entrant and the decision to deport. When serving a decision notice on an illegal entrant, the immigration officer will check against existing immigration fingerprint records and if there is no trace he or she will fingerprint the individual. In the case of foreign national prisoners, fingerprints will have been taken at an earlier stage under police powers at the point of charging for the criminal offence.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the foreign prisoners released without being deported had been held in prisons or detention centres in Kent; and how many of them are unaccounted for. (90676)

The Director General of the immigration and nationality directorate wrote to the Home Affairs Committee on 29 June and set out, in line with the Home Secretary’s requirements, the most accurate data the Department currently holds on the 1,013 foreign national prisoner cohort released without due deportation consideration.