The Committee expressed frustration over performance in reducing the number of foreign national prisoners and the costs incurred by the taxpayer as part of its hearing on Managing the prison estate in February 2014. There are 12,250 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) in England and Wales, including over 4,200 ex-FNOs living in the community awaiting deportation.
The Home Office is responsible for removing FNOs from the UK. The Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service, manage offenders in custody and negotiate prisoner transfer agreements. The government aims to remove as many FNOs as possible to their home countries quickly and consistently removes over 1,000 FNOs per quarter. Progress since 2006 on reducing the number of FNOs in the UK has been slow despite increased resources and tougher powers. The Home Office removed 5,097 FNOs in 2013-14, down nearly 10% from the number achieved in 2008-09.
This inquiry will look at issues on FNO management raised by the Committee in its February 2014 hearing on the prison estate, barriers to the removal of FNOs and assess the work of the FNO action plan.