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Probation

Circular

FOREIGN NATIONAL PRISONERS REFERENCE NO:


PURPOSE 24/2006

To advise Chief Officers and Single Points of Contact on the current position ISSUE DATE:
in relation to foreign national prisoners (FNPs). 5 June 2006

ACTION IMPLEMENTATION DATE:


Immediate
Chief Officers are asked as a matter of priority to share the information in this
Circular with their Single Point of Contact, and all other relevant staff, and to EXPIRY DATE:
ensure requirements are implemented promptly. The implementation date 5th June 2007
for this Circular is “immediate”. This reflects the Ministerial priority assigned
TO:
to the issue.
Chairs of Probation Boards
SUMMARY Chief Officers of Probation
Secretaries of Probation Boards
The Immigration and Nationality Department (IND) is responsible for Single Points of Contact
actioning the deportation of foreign national prisoners, where this is
appropriate. There have been breakdowns in this system and a multi-agency CC:
tracking process is in operation to identify outstanding cases. The probation Board Treasurers
service is part of this exercise. This Circular summarises the current position Regional Managers
and requests continued vigilance in relation to the supervision of foreign
national prisoners, particularly those assessed as posing a risk to public AUTHORISED BY:
protection. Christine Lawrie
Head of Delivery & Quality Unit
Advice on related equality issues is provided in Annex B.
ATTACHED:
RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS Annex A – Guidance
Annex B – Foreign Nationals and
There are no previous Circulars but guidance is now available on Epic (and Equality Issues
attached as Annex A).

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES

Christine.lawrie3@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

For telephone enquiries about policy, practice or to discuss individual cases,


please telephone the NPD FNP team on 0207-217-8409.

National Probation Directorate


Abell House, John Islip Street, London, SW1P 4LH
Foreign national prisoners already released

An FNP team based in NPD continues to co-ordinate information on the current position in relation to released foreign
national prisoners who should be considered for deportation by IND and who are statutorily known to the probation
service. The aims of this process are to:

• Ensure we have a record of the risk status, standard of supervision and current position as one of the following:
• Deported
• Held in custody as a result of IND action
• In the community having been held in custody by IND but bailed by an asylum and immigration tribunal
• In the community under normal supervision by the NPS
• In the community but recall has been activated
• In custody via recall
• In custody as a result of further alleged offences or a conviction
• Other
• Advise probation areas when offenders who were arrested in response to IND action have been bailed by a
tribunal in order to ensure supervision is restarted
• Advise probation areas when an offender has been deported.

The process of collecting information from areas is established and we are now working to refine our database, but there
is as yet no established system for feedback to us, and thence to areas, on the progress of cases where IND or tribunals
have taken action. Feedback systems will be in place very shortly but in the meantime we cannot guarantee to provide
you with reliable information. This means you should continue to check the progress of cases yourselves, wherever
possible.

At this time of close scrutiny of the management of foreign national prisoners, it is of paramount importance that
supervision meets all the requirements set out in national standards and the relevant licence. This is particularly so in
relation to those assessed as MAPPA 2 or 3.

In relation to foreign national prisoners identified through lists issued to areas, chief officers are therefore asked to
exercise special vigilance to ensure that:

• All information is provided to the NPD FNP team. Please let us know any changes in circumstances in relation to
any of these individuals

• Risk assessments are undertaken promptly, are updated as required, and are defensible

• All eligible cases are referred to MAPPA

• Supervision meets all the requirements of national standards and licence requirements

• Enforcement action is immediate and robust.

We would strongly urge chief officers to implement a system for regularly checking the status and progress of this group
of offenders, if one is not already in place.

Any concerns about these offenders must be notified to a member of the FNP team. Every effort will be made to resolve
difficulties through central liaison with the appropriate authorities.

Foreign national prisoners who are still serving a prison sentence

Foreign nationals currently serving a prison sentence will continue to become eligible for release. Maintaining a high
standard of vigilance and responsive assessment and supervision remains paramount. Offender managers also have a
responsibility to contribute to the identification and assessment process to ensure IND are alerted to any person who may
pose a risk to the community and for whom it therefore may be appropriate to consider deportation.

PC24/2006 – Foreign National Prisoners 2


Where offender managers believe a prisoner to be a foreign national every effort must be made to establish their
nationality and immigration status prior to release on licence. A named offender manager must be identified at the
earliest stage. Risk assessments must be carried out prior to release and an appropriate risk management plan set out in
the case record.

Offender managers must liaise with prison authorities and alert IND Criminal Casework Team if they have relevant
information prior to release. Guidance provided to areas on 15 May 2006 sets out how to contact relevant departments in
IND. Please report any difficulties encountered to the FNP team at NPD.

Where serving foreign national prisoners are being considered for deportation, IND will ask the offender manager for an
up to date assessment of the risk they are likely to pose in the community. IND issued internal guidance to this effect on
25 May 2006. Further guidance to areas will follow from NPD as soon as possible. In the meantime, when dealing with
such requests from IND please follow the guidance in the next paragraph.

Areas may be requested by solicitors to provide reports to tribunals that are considering whether to bail potential
deportees whom the IND has had taken into custody in connection with their potential deportation. Probation staff must
not express a view about deportation of any individual. As is standard procedure with any offender, personal information
should be given to solicitors only with the written permission of the offender him or herself unless it is already in the public
domain. However, the following information must be provided, if requested, without asking the offender’s permission:
• An assessment of risk of harm and/or of reoffending
• A summary of the offender’s compliance with national standards and the requirements of the licence.

Foreign national prisoners who pose a high risk of harm

The Home Secretary is particularly concerned that foreign national prisoners who are being considered for deportation,
and who pose a high risk of harm to others, should receive robust, active oversight and intervention by the probation
service which is of the highest quality and compatible with, and tailored to, the risks they pose. Chief Officers are asked
to focus on these offenders as a distinct sub-group and ensure this requirement is met.

Diversity issues and support for foreign nationals and their families

Please see the annex B.

PC24/2006 – Foreign National Prisoners 3


Annex A

Interim Guidance for Probation staff on Deportation or removal following


criminal conviction and the impact on service delivery

Based on Practice Guidelines provided by London Probation Equality & Diversity


Directorate.

These interim guidelines are to assist staff in their supervision of foreign national
offenders. It contains details of how and when contact with the Immigration Service is
indicated. Probation staff will have varying knowledge and experience of supervising
foreign national offenders.
The Government has stated their intention to produce a consultation paper by the end of
May 2006 concerning foreign national offenders and deportation. Should there be
implications for probation practice further information will follow.

Contents
♦ Diagram demonstrating the probability of deportation or removal following criminal
conviction

• Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. How do I know whether or not IND is considering taking any action against the
offender?
2. How do I find out the offender’s immigration status?
3. Do Courts require reports when deportation or removal is possible?
4. What proposal(s) for sentence can I make to the Court if deportation seems
probable?
5. The offender has an application for asylum pending or an appeal outstanding.
Does it make sense to propose a community penalty?
6. The offender claims they cannot be deported or removed because they were born
in the UK / are married to a British national. Is this correct?
7. How does IND find out about foreign national offenders?
8. Do I have to inform IND if I discover that an offender is in the UK illegally?
9. Does IND have to inform probation if / when they deport or remove someone who
is subject to supervision?
10. What do I do if an offender is deported or removed while still subject to
supervision?
11. What happens if an offender subject to a community order or licence wants to go
abroad to live?
12. The offender wishes to return to their home country at the end of the supervision
period but they have no means to pay the fare. Can they get help?
13. Do I have to produce a PAR on a prisoner who is to be deported?
14. If I know the answer, can I give immigration advice to someone I am supervising?
15. How does the deportation process work?

Appendix 1 How to make enquiries with the Immigration & nationality Directorate – IND

1
Appendix 2 Diagrams showing the deportation processes, when there is no court
recommendation for deportation and when there is.

Deportation or removal following criminal conviction

Is the offender ..….

A British Citizen or a
Commonwealth Citizen with No one from these groups can
Right of Abode or an Irish be deported or removed. They
Yes all have the right to enter and
Citizen who was settled in the
UK on 1.1.73 and has lived in remain in the UK
the UK for the past 5 years?

Deportation is probable. A
No Sentenced to Court recommendation
2+ years

Yes
significantly increases the
imprisonment? probability
A European Community
Citizen? Yes
Sentenced to less Deportation is unlikely. It would

Yes
than 2 years be unusual for a Court to
imprisonment or a recommend deportation at the
No Community same time as imposing these
Order? sentences

The position is complicated. In


A Refugee (with Indefinite or theory refugee status could be
Exceptional Leave to Remain Yes withdrawn but in practice this
or Humanitarian Protection)? and deportation is unlikely.

No
The asylum claim should be
An asylum seeker? (With or settled before any deportation
Yes or removal action is taken
without an appeal pending)

Sentenced to 1yr Deportation is probable. A


yes

or more Court recommendation


None of the above? imprisonment? significantly increases the
Yes probability

Sentenced to less Deportation is unlikely


than 1 year although any Court
yes

imprisonment or a recommendation significantly


Community increases the probability.
Order?
NB If the offender has no legal
immigration status e.g. they
have overstayed a visa or
entered illegally, they may be
Removed (as opposed to
being deported)

2
General points to note about deportation and removal following criminal conviction

• The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) does not need a Court
recommendation to exercise its powers to deport (or remove) –
• but any Court recommendation substantially increases the likelihood of deportation
• Courts cannot order deportation – they can only recommend it to the Home Secretary.
• Any person, 17 years of age or more at the time of sentencing who does not have the
right of abode in the UK and who is convicted of an offence for which he/she is liable
to a term of imprisonment, may be recommended for deportation.
• A formal notice warning of an offenders ‘liability to deportation’, - referred to as an
‘IM3’ form – must be served at least 7 days prior to any Court recommendation being
made.
• IM3s are normally served at the arrest stage and so are a useful indicator of possible
deportation / removal
• Deportation is a permanent exclusion order; it prohibits re-entry to the UK indefinitely
• Deportation is a lengthy process with rights of appeal
• Removal does not prohibit re-entry (if entry requirements are met on return)
• Removal is a relatively quick process, with no suspensive right of appeal.
• Removal procedures are used against people who have no legal immigration status in
the UK (e.g. over-stayed visa, entered clandestinely, misrepresented self on entry,
refused entry at Port), when IND are not seeking to permanently exclude.
• Record on contact sheets details of people contacted in IND and details of
discussions and agreed actions.

• These cases need to be subject to normal probation arrangements for assessment of


Risk of Harm and referred to MAPPA if they meet the relevant criteria.

3
Practice Guidelines – FAQs and answers
Note; Please take ‘community order’ to mean all forms, both CJA 91 and CJA 03,
‘licence’ to mean all forms of post release licence and ‘supervision’ to encompass both,
unless otherwise stated.

1 How do I know whether or not the Immigration & Nationality Department


( IND) is considering taking any action against the offender?

At present there is no national protocol between Immigration and Probation and so there
is no obligation on Immigration to inform us of intended or actual action, even if they have
been made aware that we are supervising the person in question.

An IM3(notice of liability for deportation or removal) indicates that the issue of immigration
status has been raised and that the Court will consider making a recommendation for
deportation. It is therefore important that Court Officers note when an IM3 has been
served, after asking the prosecution if necessary.

The deportation process begins with serving a notice of intention to deport – so it is worth
asking the offender and/or the prison if this and any following action has happened.
Prison custody/discipline offices keep a record of any immigration action, such as the
service of papers, or a detention order and are normally willing to give information to
probation staff.

Removal (as opposed to deportation) is handled by local Immigration offices.

Any asylum claim should be settled (by the IND asylum section) before any action to
remove or deport.

See also notes in answer to the following question (how to find out an offender’s
immigration status)

2 How do I find out the offender’s immigration status?

Ask them! There is no obligation on probation staff to establish the immigration status of
every offender (although monitoring of immigration status may be introduced in the
future).
However, if immigration status appears relevant to a proposal for sentence or to
supervision, as a Risk factor, information can be gained by contacting the

The IND’s Evidence and Enquiry Unit – tel; 0845 601 2298 or fax 0208 604 5800.

Full contact details in Appendix 1

Cont/…

4
In respect of prisoners who have been recommended for deportation by the Court, or
whose presence in the UK is likely to be found ‘not conducive to the public good’ (largely
European sentenced to 2 years + imprisonment or non-European sentenced to 1 year+
imprisonment) information on progress may be obtained by contacting the

The IND’s Criminal Casework Team on 0208 196 0930,


or email - CCT@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

full contact details in Appendix 1

NOTE the E&EU and CCT numbers are for professional use only and should
not be given to offenders or any members of the public in any circumstances.

3 Do Courts require probation sentencing reports when deportation or


removal is possible?
.

Courts have different expectation when they require sentencing reports on foreign
national defendants arrested at Ports of Entry.

In other cases of offenders who are foreign nationals, where deportation or removal
appears possible, Courts will determine those cases where a report is required. A court
may still be request a report when deportation is being considered as they may decide
not to recommend deportation and/or IND may decide not to take action.

Decisions about whether or not to prepare a report at the Committal stage will be
influenced by various factors including length of residency in the UK, nature of the
offence, age of offender etc.

4 What proposal(s) for sentence can I make to the Court if deportation seems
probable?

This may depend to an extent on why deportation seems probable but overall, proposals
will be limited.

If a foreign national is already subject to a deportation order, i.e. They have returned to
the UK illegally, by definition they have no right to be in the UK. It is most probable that
they will be detained and removed by IND irrespective of the Court’s sentence. This is a
valid reason for assessing the offender as unsuitable for any community penalty. The
assessment would be further supported if it can be established that the offender is
already subject to ‘Immigration Detention’. Check with the custody clerk at the remand
prison for any ‘Immigration hold’.

5
As illustrated by the initial flow diagram, an alternative reason for deportation seeming
probable is that the offence is likely to attract a sentence of imprisonment of 1 year or
over for a non-European Union national or for 2 years or over for a European Union
national. In these cases the probation report, having acknowledged the inevitability of a
substantial custodial sentence, may properly address the potential impact of deportation,
since any recommendation is part of the sentence. Court recommendations for
deportation are usually carried out and the effects on the offender can be greater than the
term of imprisonment imposed.

An IM3 (notice of liability to deportation) indicates that the issue of immigration status has
been raised but this does not necessarily mean that the Court will recommend
deportation or that IND will take action. Unless one of the above reasons exists for
believing the offender will probably be deported or removed, community penalties can be
considered and proposed.

5 The offender has an application for asylum pending or they have been
refused asylum and an appeal is outstanding. Does it make sense to propose a
Community penalty?

Asylum applications and appeals can take a long time and it should not be assumed that
either is a reason not to recommend a community order. The probation report should,
however, note the immigration situation and the fact that a negative decision by IND
could result in removal from the UK before the expiry of an order, probably with little, if
any, notice.

6 The offender claims they cannot be deported or removed because they were
born in the UK / are married to a British national / have children living in the UK. Is
this correct?

Not necessarily. Being born in the UK does not in itself confer British nationality, nor does
being married to a British subject automatically confer the right to live in the UK. This is a
complicated area. Offenders in this position should be advised to seek legal advice.

7 How does IND find out about foreign national offenders?

The Courts should inform the Immigration and Nationality Directorate Criminal Casework
Team (IND / CCT) of any recommendation for deportation made by a judge/magistrate.

Prison governors are obliged to inform IND / CCT of all foreign national prisoners they
hold so that Immigration can assess whether they should be deported or removed on
completion of their prison sentence.

6
Immigration officers are increasingly being stationed in reception units of local prisons to
identify and progress cases for deportation and removal and improve liaison between
Prison and IND.

Some foreign nationals without legal immigration status (those who have overstayed
visas or entered clandestinely, for example) are first identified when questioned by police,
perhaps for minor matters. Police enquires with the Immigration Evidence and Enquiry
Unit E&EU (see Appendix 1) may then trigger immigration action.

As mentioned elsewhere, there is currently no national protocol requiring probation staff


to inform immigration of relevant cases and therefore no formal arrangements for doing
so.
However the IND Criminal Casework Team and/or the IND Evidence and Enquiry Unit
(see appendix 1) should be contacted by probation staff whenever they have a concern
about the immigration status of an offender particularly if linked to risk of harm or risk of
re-offending issues.

8 Do I have to inform IND if I discover that an offender is in the UK illegally?

In the absence of any protocol between immigration and probation, there are no formal
guidelines or arrangements for probation staff action should it become apparent that an
offender has no legal immigration status in the UK.
However, evidence or concern that someone under supervision is, for instance, working
or claiming benefits when they are not entitled or remaining in the UK without permission
should be considered a risk factor and acted upon accordingly, seeking line manager
guidance where necessary.
Probation staff should contact the E&EU (see appendix 1) to verify an offender’s
immigration status whenever they believe that person is living in the UK illegally, the
expectation being that IND/E&EU will initiate any enforcement action they deem
necessary.

Record on contact sheets details of people contacted in IND and details of


discussions and agreed actions.

9 Does IND have to inform the probation service if / when they deport or
remove someone who is subject to supervision?

No. There is no protocol between immigration and probation. Also, IND will not
necessarily know that someone is subject to supervision and even if they do know, they
have no duty to inform us of any action they intend or they take.

7
10 What do I do if an offender is deported or removed while still subject to
supervision?

Try to gain verification of IND action. This sometimes is problematic, again record all
actions taken and discussions had with relevant staff. Apply for revocation of any
community order. The licence will remain in force to its normal completion date. It should
be clearly recorded that the offender has been removed from the UK and that it is
therefore not possible to enforce the supervision requirement.

11 What happens if an offender subject to a community order or licence wants


to go abroad to live?

Offenders who live in the UK but wish to move abroad will be required to wait until
supervision has ended before they go unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The following comments apply to offenders who are not normally resident in the UK
(e.g. arrested at ports of entry or here as a tourist or student) and who are not facing
deportation or removal

First pose the question whether risk harm or re-offending might be reduced by allowing
the offender to leave the UK. Risk in both the UK and the proposed (offender’s) country
should be considered. For example, in the case of someone who has no right to
employment or benefit and no means of support in the UK, risk might be reduced by
allowing them to return to their family.

If the assessment is that risk might be reduced



• For community orders
Consider asking the court to revoke the order to allow resettlement abroad,
including the risk assessment as part of the argument for doing so.

For CJA 1991 Automatic Conditional Release licences and all CJA 2003
Standard Sentence licences
Chief Officers of Probation have the authority to suspend reporting to allow
resettlement abroad.

For CJA 1991 Parole licences


Applications to suspend reporting to allow resettlement abroad should be
made to the Release and Recall Section (formerly ERRS)

For licences following public protection sentences


By definition, it will probably be very rare to find a case in which the
suspension of supervision to allow the offender to return to their own
country (where they will not be supervised) may be justified.

8
12 The offender wishes to return to their home abroad at the end of the
supervision period but they have no means to pay the fare. Can they get help?

Yes, quite possibly. Some may be able to gain help from their Embassy or High
Commission (although these are likely to want assurance that any fares advanced will be
refunded). There are several schemes in the UK for assisting voluntary return. Asylum
seekers and refugees considering voluntary return should be advised to take advice
offered by specialist agencies, i.e. Immigration Advice Centres, Law Centre, Community
Refugee organisations. The International Office of Migration (IOM) operate various
voluntary repatriation schemes on behalf of the Home Office – contact IOM on 0800 783
2332

13 Do I have to produce a PAR on a prisoner who is to be deported on release?

There is no requirement for a parole assessment report (PAR) in these cases. However,
if an offender manager is able to make a relevant contribution to parole assessment; this
will be included in the dossier and considered. Probation staff seconded to work in
prisons does prepare parole reports in these cases.

Please note that, with some exceptions (relating to high risk) rules introduced under the
CJA 2003 make parole presumptive for those who are to be deported or removed.
Seconded staffs refer to Chapter 9, Prison Service Order 6000

14 If I know the answer, can I give immigration advice to someone I am


supervising?

The short answer to this question is ‘no’.

It is illegal for anyone who is not registered with or certificated by the Office of the
Immigration Services Commissioner to give immigration advice (and Probation is not
registered or certificated). You should limit your advice to giving information about
agencies that are registered / certificated to give immigration advice. Citizens Advice
Bureaux can generally help or refer to local lists

15 How does the deportation process work?

A summary outline is given in the set of three diagrams in appendix 2.

9
Appendix 1 to ‘Deportation or removal following criminal conviction and the impact on
service delivery’

How to make enquiries of the Immigration & Nationality Directorate - IND

To make an enquiry with IND please use the contact details below which have been
agreed with the IND.

In the community;

Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) has an Evidence & Enquiry Unit (E & EU),
which is a front line service for various agencies to contact when there is a need to
enquire about the immigration status of an individual. Probation is one of the agencies
which the Police, Prisons, Customs & Excise, who have access to this Unit.

They can be contacted on 0845 601 2298. Their opening hours are 05.45 to 21.00
Monday to Friday, 08.00 to 16.00 weekends and bank holidays (not 25 December). You
will be asked whether you want Option 1, (for detained cases), or Option 2, (non-detained
cases).

Their caseworker will require your name, the agency you are calling from and a contact
phone number. For them to carry out an effective search, you will usually be required to
provide a name, nationality & date of birth of the individual you wish to enquire about. If
you have a Home Office reference number, this would help. Evidence & Enquiry usually
can assist you straight away though sometimes they may need to refer you on to the
nearest local enforcement office.
They may request that you fax information to them on 0208 604 5856.

Imprisoned & sentenced;

The Criminal Casework Team, (CCT) was set up as a link between the Prison Service,
the Integrated Casework Directorate of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and
the Immigration Service. Its aim is to facilitate the deportation of those convicted foreign
nationals who have either been recommended by the courts for deportation or whose
presence in the UK is not considered conducive to the public good.

Their objective is to arrange for deportation immediately a sentence has been finished.
The number of cases actioned has steadily increased and was about 500 in 2004.

Records show that the majority of recommendations for deportation made against
convicted foreign nationals result in an actual deportation. The efficient processing of
these cases is a ministerial priority; the result is that many people who present a risk to
the public of the UK are deported promptly.

10
The Criminal Casework Team should normally be the first point of contact for any agency
within the criminal justice system which deals with convicted foreign nationals. They can
then judge how best to deal with the case. CCT now deal with EEA nationals as from
October 2003.

Please note that the Criminal Casework Team is presently undergoing


a considerable re organisation which is aimed at responding to the
considerable increase in their work load at this time. Staff are being
recruited to meet this demand and it is expected that they will be
relocated. We will endeavour to amend the details below to reflect
these changes as we are notified.

Criminal Casework Team Contacts:


GENERAL HOTLINE 0208 196 0930

For Early Release Scheme (ERS) fax enquiries 0208 760 3889

All calls should be routed through the hotline. However, in an absolute emergency, where
you cannot obtain an immediate reply from the hotline: contact a senior caseworker on:

Fax: 020 8196 3496


020 8196 3493
020 8196 3494
020 8196 3493
020 8196 3495 (Tipping Eos)
0208 760 3890 Detention Team
0208 760 3889 ERS and Ops Team

Postal Address: Criminal Casework Team, 10th Floor, Lunar House, 40


Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY

Head of CCT: Nick Hearn nick.hearn2@.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Jay Sajeev jay.sajeev3@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

CCT email: CCT@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

11
Appendix 2 to ‘Deportation or removal following criminal conviction and the impact on
service delivery’

Deportation processes

ARRE S T
IM3
NOTICE OF LIABILITY
FOR DE P ORTATION
S erved by P olice or Customs
COURT

S E NTE NCE

WITH RECOMMENDATION WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION

12
NO COURT RECOMMENDATION
Immigration Act 1971 – Section 3 (5)(b) - Deportation on the
grounds of it ‘being conducive to the public good’
IND
INFORMED

NOTICE OF
NO ACTION INTENTION TO DEPORT

IMMIGRATION NOT
RELEASE
APPEAL TRIBUNAL CONTESTED
INTO UK
ALLOWED REFUSED IND PROCEEDS

RELEASE DEPORTATION
INTO UK ON RELEASE

13
Court Recommendation
Immigration Act 1971 section 3(6)

Recommendation for deportation

No criminal Appeal
Not contested
Court appeal sentence

refused allowed

Notice of intention to deport

Appeal Appeal to
destination Immigration Tribunal

allowed refused

Deportation Release Deportation Deportation


on release Into UK On release Still possible

14
Annex B

FOREIGN NATIONALS AND EQUALITY ISSUES

Whilst FNP’s must be dealt with according to the processes already used by the agencies referred to in this Circular, the
following points should be considered in order to prevent any likelihood of unfair or improper treatment. Foreign nationals
are not a homogeneous group and individuals will have been living in this country for varying lengths of time and with
different immigration status’s. Deportation or removal following the commission of a criminal offence can have significant
implications for the offender and any dependants.

• Given that legal processes will be involved language needs should be ascertained to see if the individual does or
does not require interpretation or translation assistance.

• When an interpreter is needed, they should have some form of professional status as confidentiality and accurate
interpreting skills are required. The use of a family member or someone from a local community is not
appropriate.
• The National Register of Public Service Interpreters is the principle organisation which is providing a service
under licence to the National Probation Service. Staff can gain access to it via EPIC and follow the on screen
instructions access the Register. For British Sign Language the Council for the Advancement of Communication
with deaf people is on 0191 383 1155.
• Good practice advice on immigration matters and FNO’s is contained in the interim guidance for Probation staff
called “Deportation or removal following criminal conviction and the impact on service delivery”, which is based on
good practice guidelines provided by the London Probation Equality and Diversity directorate. It can be accessed
on EPIC - http://npsintranet.probation.gsi.gov.uk/index/service_delivery/foreign_nationals.htm

• This advice also contains answers to 15 FAQs and is a good practitioner reference document.

ADDITIONAL ISSUES TO CONSIDER

• FNP’s liable for deportation may request independent immigration advice. Probation staff cannot and should not
provide this but can refer onto reputable organisations and groups. Local Law Centres, Citizens Advice Bureaus,
Legal Advice Centres and refugee advice services can be useful.

• Community and family links will be important for a number of reasons. For instance a FNP going through
deportation or removal proceedings may have dependent family members. Building in support links for them in
terms of a local community group or religious centre (if they exist) is important and may be a lifeline. If
community groups appear to serve a different locale (e.g. from their address), but are clearly the only one for
miles around, they will usually respond positively to requests for help. Support could also be obtained from the
Social Services department of their Local Authority. High Commissions or Embassies can sometimes help, but
their assistance is not normally long term. They may also be able to assist when FNPs are to be returned to their
Country of origin.

• FNP’s could be individuals who may have been used by others for illegal purposes (a good proportion of cases
are drug related), and who have no contact with them following arrest. When they are going through a deportation
or removal process they need to be able to speak in confidence to someone from their own community. Mental
health concerns are more likely when someone has been left isolated and their future is uncertain. Support
should be sought from Social Services. Community and voluntary groups can also sometimes offer support in
these circumstances.

• If an FNP is to be released into the community, then the opportunity to be able to get in contact with community
based organisations can assist in their resettlement and that of their families. This can be both in terms of
contacts and for ongoing advice and support (e.g. in a family situation advice will be needed over housing,
benefits, health, education, job opportunities, etc).
• Local community groups vary a lot in terms of their ethos and capabilities. If contact has been made with them in
the past then a clearer idea would exist of how they operate, but if a contact is being made for the first time, then
it should be done cautiously (maybe only by phone to begin with) to ensure they can give the appropriate support
and respect confidentiality of both the Probation service and the FNP, before introducing them to the FNP.
• All cases notes should now record nationality details, in order for proper monitoring of FNPs to be made. To
ascertain the immigration status of a FNP, the IND has an Evidence and Enquiry unit which is a front line service
agencies can contact. It can be contacted on 0845 601 2298 from 05.45 to 21.00 on Monday to Fridays, 08.00 to
16.00 at weekends and bank holidays (but not Christmas day). Callers will be asked for the name, nationality and
date of birth of the individual you are enquiring about.
• Further details will be sent out shortly