LONDON — The British Government is to fund a prisonbuilding programme in poor countries, including Jamaica, in order to get more foreign inmates out of the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron announced late last week.
According to a report in the online edition of the Daily Mail newspaper, Cameron admitted that too many foreign prisoners were in England and said “helping to build prisons in their own country” would ensure more were kicked out.
“Despite promises to cut the number of foreign inmates behind bars in Britain, the numbers have increased in recent years,” the Daily Mail report said.
“Ministers have struggled to remove even hardened criminals because jails abroad are overflowing or do not comply with human rights laws,” the Mail added. “By paying for building new jails or making existing ones more ‘comfortable’ so they approach British standards, it is hoped more will be repatriated.”
According to the newspaper, the prime minister made the announcement during a Cameron Direct event on the local elections campaign trail in Carlisle.
“When people are sent to prison in the UK we should do everything we can to make sure that if they’re foreign nationals, they are sent back to their country to serve their sentence in a foreign prison,” the Mail quoted Cameron.
“And I’m taking action in government to say look, we have strong relationships with all of the countries where these people come from. Many are coming from Jamaica, many from Nigeria, many from other countries in Asia.
“We should be using all of the influence we have to sign prisoner transfer agreements with those countries. Even, if necessary, frankly helping them to build prisons in their own country so we can send the prisoners home.
“I’m going to be setting out a programme of how we do that, country by country by country. Because it is not good enough, the situation we have in Britain today,” Cameron said. (BBC)