Britain tries to move foreign inmates out

Oct. 11, 2006 at 2:12 AM
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LONDON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- British Home Secretary John Reed says that foreign inmates who agree to complete their sentences in their home countries will receive cash payments.

The offer is aimed at reducing severe overcrowding in British prisons, The Telegraph reports. About 11,000 of the 80,000 inmates in the prison system in England and Wales are not British citizens, and the number of foreigners has doubled in five years.

Reid said the payments would be as much as $4,600 (2,500 pounds). Only prisoners from outside the European Economic Area would be eligible.

The payments are not direct cash inducements but would come in the form of help inmates need to get back into society when they complete their sentences, including medical treatment, education or assistance starting a business, Reid said.

In another measure to keep inmates out of the system, Reid has warned police stations to be ready to house new arrestees for longer periods.

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