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Prisoners: Foreigners

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department further to the letter from the Chief Executive of the Border and Immigration Agency to the Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, of 18th February 2008, if she will break down the 250 sentence-expired foreign prisoners who have been detained under immigration powers for more than nine months by nationality; what the longest time spent by such a prisoner in detention is; how many sentence-expired foreign prisoners have been held in detention for more than nine months in each of the last 10 years; and what the average daily cost of holding such a prisoner in detention is. (193824)

[holding answer 13 March 2008]: In her letter of 18 February, the chief executive of the UK Border Agency advised the Home Affairs Committee that there are approximately 250 foreign national prisoners from countries where difficulties with enforcing removal is encountered and have been detained under immigration powers beyond nine months. She also advised in this letter that the countries that are relevant in this respect were covered during her appearance before the Committee of 15 January, which are Jamaica, Nigeria, China and Vietnam.

She has regularly updated the Home Affairs Committee with the most robust and accurate information available however, as she has explained in her letters, information prior to April 2006 is not available due to issues with the quality of the management information that is held therefore we are only able to identify the longest period an individual has been detained for through the examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost. The average cost to detain an individual within the UK Border Agency estate is £119 per night