Consuls attend Custody Conference

Record numbers of consuls attended the recent Foreign Nationals in Custody Conference hosted by HM Prison Service, a sign that the issue of foreign nationals in English and Welsh prisons is a hot topic.

In total, 66 diplomatic missions attended the meeting, held under the umbrella of the new Ministry of Justice.

The day included presentations from HM Prison Service, the National Probation Service and the Border and Immigration Service, with two plenary sessions and a number of opportunities for questions to be taken.

With 14% of the English and Welsh prison population made up of foreign nationals, both the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office are mindful of how important it is to get the diplomatic community involved, not only for travel documents but also for visits, correspondence, keeping a prisoner’s family informed and providing information on how the various consular departments gives assistance to one of their nationals in custody.

The Conference was also an opportunity for the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office to find out how they can improve their processes, such as informing consulates about a foreign national’s detention or obtaining emergency travel documents.

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