Two UK prisons for foreigners only cost exchequer 15 million pounds

November 14th, 2007 - 2:47 am ICT by admin  
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the Gordon Brown Government plans to open more foreigner only prisons if these two experiments succeed.

The move has been partly initiated due to foreign inmates having different language and other requirements. It also makes it easier for immigration staff struggling to deport foreign criminals.

The cost of running each of these jails is around 7.5million pounds a year to run.

The cost per inmate at Bullwood Hall is 49,734 pounds, compared to an average of 22,027 pounds for similar jails in the UK. Part of the extra cost is translating for prisoners who speak little or no English.

But Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “The public has a right to know why one of these prisons costs almost double per inmate than the average jail and if there are plans to build any more of these specialist institutions.”

Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said: “There are huge amounts of offenders from all over the world in our prison system and it makes it very, very difficult. It is like the United Nations of offenders.

The 11,000 foreign nationals in prison - including 8,750 from outside the EU and at least 50 different nationalities - are a significant factor in the jail overcrowding crisis, which has led to the early release of thousands of inmates.

The prison population stands at 81,500 - with only a few hundred spaces remaining, and inmates already housed in police cells. Court cells are expected to be used as emergency accommodation as early as this week.

Shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert said Gordon Brown had pledged that all foreign criminals would be deported, but now around one in seven of the prison population were from abroad.

Last year, former Home Secretary John Reid offered convicts from outside the EU a 2,500-pound package if they agreed to serve their sentence in their own country. But the offer has failed to attract much interest.

Details of the all-foreigner jails only emerged in a report into the mental health of inmates, by the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Anne Owers.

When Bullwood Hall was changed from a women’s jail last year, the Government said merely that it would be turning it into a ‘male Category-C establishment’.

Herbert defended the Government’s prisons policy today, saying it was speeding up deportation in a “cost-effective and efficient” way. (ANI)

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