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Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the effects of the Early Removal of Fixed-Term Prisoners (Amendment of Eligibility Period) Order 2008 (SI 2008/978) and the Early Removal of Short-Term and Long-Term Prisoners (Amendment of Requisite Period) Order 2008 (SI 2008/977) on the number of foreign national prisoners who will need to be accommodated in immigration detention centres over the next five years and the average length of time such prisoners will spend in immigration detention centres. [HL4349]

The chief executive of the UK Border Agency advised the Home Affairs Committee in her letter of 17 December 2007 that there are around 1,200 foreign national prisoners held in immigration detention centres awaiting deportation/administrative removal from the United Kingdom.

Due to the large number of variables involved, it is not possible to anticipate the numbers of individuals that may fall under the early removal scheme for so long a period or whether they can be removed directly from a prison or move to be detained within the UK Border Agency detention estate. However, eligible foreign national prisoners will typically spend a maximum of 24 hours in a UK Border Agency detention centre. In the event that removal cannot proceed due to unforeseen issues then they are returned to prison to continue serving their sentence until removal may recommence.