Foreign nationals

Foreign nationals


Prison systems need to develop strategies and programmes that ensure the care of foreign prisoners in an effective and sustainable manner.

In many countries, the number of foreign prisoners – that is, inmates who do not carry the passport of the country in which they are imprisoned – is growing at a rapid pace, as a result of globalization, migration, trafficking and transnational crime.

According to Council of Europe, by the end of 2014, there were around 113,000 foreigners in European Union prisons (amongst the total imprisoned population of 620,540).

Foreign nationals are vastly overrepresented in the criminal justice system, due to increasingly punitive measures being adopted against foreign national offenders in many countries, to discrimination, limited awareness of legal rights, lack of access to legal counsel, lack of social networks and low economic status.

Foreign national prisoners are usually cut off from their families and communities, and therefore lack the contact and support to reduce the harmful effects of imprisonment and assist with social reintegration.

Furthermore, foreign national prisoners are more prone to be at risk of intense discrimination, abuse, sexual assault and other forms of violence in the prison setting.

Despite these special needs, in most countries there are no policies and strategies in place to deal with foreign national inmates. Hence, there is a need for states to review their criminal justice policies and law enforcement practices to identify shortcomings and to take steps to improve foreigners’ access to justice throughout the criminal justice process.

Given that imprisonment represents a severe punishment for most foreign national inmates, there is a need to develop effective alternative responses to prison. At the prison management level, there is also a need for prison authorities to develop strategies and programmes that ensure the care of foreign prisoners in an effective and sustainable manner.

Our work, regarding the foreign national target, comprehends the following axes:

  • policy and strategy development;
  • strategic planning to improve prison management and address foreign inmates;
  • specific educational content;
  • staff training (including issues relating to the management of foreign national prisoners, encouraging understanding, methods of response to specific demands and methods of cooperation with other agencies such as immigration authorities, for instance).

Education in Romanian, Arabic, Greek, etc, to foreign inmates.

IPS_Innovative Prison Systems and SIVECO join to deploy Romanian, Arabic, English, Russian, Greek, and French education to foreigners who are serving sentence in Europe.

Through this partnership, we can supply any prison system with near 34.000 learning objects. Learn more.