Britain offering foreign inmates 1500 quid to go back homeNovember 14th, 2007 - 8:35 am ICT by admin
A British Home Office spokesman said that ministers expected the target to be met, and said the facilitated return scheme was being enhanced because it had proved a “practical and cost-effective” means of persuading inmates to return home to complete their sentences.
The scheme was initially introduced in 2006 by then Home Secretary John Reid as a means of easing the prisons overcrowding crisis.
Prisoners from outside the European Economic Area were offered a reintegration package of 800 pounds to help with education, training, housing and resettlement on their return to their home country.
Now, changes introduced without fanfare mean that any prisoner applying before December 7 and leaving Britain before January 1 will be able to apply for help totalling 1,500 pounds.
But Mark Leech, the editor of the Prisons Handbook, has criticised the move, saying that the message going out is that you can get convicted and then can receive a 1,500 pound package of help with training, education and resettlement on returning home.
The message is all the more wrong, given the fact that many of the 10,000-plus foreign prisoners in UK jails are poor people from Caribbean countries who sought to make money by acting as drugs “mules”.
“The suspicion is that the Government is desperate to meet a target for deportations, which in any case is only a fraction of the foreign national prison population.”
A total of 2,784 foreign national prisoners were removed or deported between April 2006 and March 2007. (ANI)
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