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Prisoners: Foreigners

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 6 December 2007, Official Report, columns 1473-74W, on prisoners: foreigners, what provision has been made for interpreting services for foreign prisoners by the Prison Service in each of the last 12 months; and what the cost was of such services. (175824)

Over the last 12 months interpreting services have been provided on an ad hoc basis based on individual prisoner need, largely through a telephone interpreting service. As part of the development of a specific strategy to meet the needs of foreign national prisoners in custody, the service issued a tender earlier in the year to secure interpreting and translation services and two service providers have now been appointed.

Prison Service records do not currently provide a breakdown between translation and interpreting costs except for the costs of the telephone interpreting service.

The following table shows the costs in each of the last 12 months for telephone interpreting and other interpreting and translation costs (i.e. written translations and face to face interpreters).

£

Telephone interpreting

Written translation and face to face interpreting

Total

December 2006

70

70

January 2007

237

100

337

February 2007

44

711

755

March 2007

206

35

241

April 2007

36

36

May 2007

386

443

829

June 2007

522

522

July 2007

541

2,139

2,680

August 2007

140

53

193

September 2007

428

428

October 2007

279

50

329

November 2007

1,378

1,378

Total

2,297

5,501

7,798