Prisoners Who Are Foreign Nationals

The treatment in UK prisons of Foreign National Prisoners (FNPs) is degrading compared to the rehabilitative opportunities that are prescribed for UK prisoners. Their experiences of imprisonment are characterised by, “isolation, language barriers… no family contact, discrimination… limited understanding of the prison and criminal justice systems, and… problems linked to immigration-status, post-sentence detention, resettlement and deportation”. (Banks, 2011)

All FNPs who have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of 12 months or more are subject to automatic deportation from the UK unless they fall within defined exceptions. People contesting their deportation because they have family in the UK are no longer automatically granted legal aid and because of this, the demand for immigration advice from PAS continues to increase.  We give FNPs an equal voice by explaining their rights, providing access to legal advice, increasing their understanding of UK law and encouraging them to assert their rights whilst incarcerated here.

PAS holds level three accreditation by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and can assist FNPs with issues of detention or deportation. Our work helps to clarify and resolve prisoners’ immigration statuses and explains to them their associated legal, human and healthcare rights.

In 2023-24, 12% of callers to the Advice Line, 5% of letter-writers and 19% of Outreach Clinic attendees were foreign nationals. PAS’ Outreach Caseworker delivered six dedicated Outreach Clinics in HMP Huntercombe, which houses entirely FNPs, seeing 44 one-to-one.  Four end-to-end legal cases were opened on behalf of FNPs.

PAS Information Sheets

PAS Information Sheets in Foreign Languages