This chapter focusses on the experience of foreign national prisoners during COVID-19 prison lockdowns. In this context, a foreign national prisoner refers to anyone who does not have an absolute legal right to remain in the country. Those with citizenship (or dual citizenship) are not foreign nationals, and as such, the number of foreign-born persons may be higher than those of foreign nationality (The Parole Board, 2020). We recognize that the experience of foreign national prisoners may differ significantly if they have been a resident in their country of imprisonment for a period of time. We also recognize that foreign national prisoners are far from a homogenous group. As has been mentioned in previous chapters, there may be substantial overlaps between some foreign national prisoners and other groups discussed in this book. For example, the HM Inspectorate Annual Report 2019–2020 noted that 10 per cent of foreign national prisoners were members of the Gypsy, Roma or Irish Travelling community (HMIP, 2020a). As such, issues discussed here may be equally applicable to the other minority groups featured in this book. Similarly, issues facing foreign national prisoners may also be reviewed in other chapters. In 2019, it was estimated that foreign nationals comprised 9 per cent of the population in the United Kingdom (Rienzo and Vargas-Silva, 2020). This does not include non-UK-born residents who hold British citizenship. There are three primary reasons for differences between nationality numbers and country of birth figures.
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