We have received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following.
With regard to the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) and the Facilitated Returns Scheme (FRS).
• How many foreign prisoners have been returned to their country of origin under each scheme?
• How much has each scheme cost?
We released the following information on 2 July 2010
Since 2006, over 16000 Foreign National Prisoners (FNPs) have been removed from the United Kingdom. All foreign nationals subject to removal are considered by the National Offender Management Service under the Early Removal Scheme, which allows for early removal up to a maximum of 270 days prior to the halfway point of the sentence. Under ERS, approximately 25% of all foreign national prisoners in 2009 were deported prior to the end of their sentence. The UK Border Agency also promotes to non EEA foreign national prisoners the benefits of returning home before the end of their sentence under the Facilitated Returns Scheme. This scheme provides a package of reintegration assistance upon an individuals return to their home country. In 2009 approximately 30% of all foreign national prisoners were removed under this scheme. While there is some overlap in the figures of 25% and 30%, the schemes are administered separately - a foreign national can be removed under ERS without taking up FRS, and vice versa.
The most recent estimate of costs and savings for these two schemes were included in a
letter of 4 February 2010 from the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency to the Home Affairs Select Committee, in which she explained that:
• For FRS, expenditure by the UKBA between October 2006 and March 2009, was approximately £4.3 million and that the cost of running the scheme for 2009/10, is expected to be £6.3 million.
• The Ministry of Justice estimate that, as a result of the ERS scheme, approximately 400 prison places in any given month are no longer taken by Foreign nationals representing a saving to the National Offender Management Service of additional expenditure of approximately £1.2 million per calendar month.