Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

An Unresolved Prison Scandal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

An Unresolved Prison Scandal

Article excerpt

THE NEWS that two English prisons have been converted for the exclusiveuse of foreign prisoners is acutely embarrassing for the Government. It is truethat keeping foreign inmates together means it is easier to provide them withservices such as translation and target them for deportation ? but this is areminder of one of the biggest scandals to have hit the Home Office. In Maylast year, Charles Clarke was sacked as Home Secretary after it was revealedthat more than 1,000 foreign prisoners were released from detention withoutbeing considered for deportation. The scandal led directly to the break-up ofthe Home Office and the creation of the new Ministry of Justice. Yet as late asFebruary this year, 28 of the 189 most serious offenders were still at largeand only 163 of the overall total had been deported.

The two prisons, in Essex and Kent, only scratch the surface of the problem.There are at present more than 11,000 foreign prisoners out of a total prisonpopulation of 81,000; each inmate costs an average of some [pounds sterling]38,000 to keepthere. …

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