§ Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration detainees are being held in prisons. 
§ Beverley Hughes
The latest available data on the number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act 1971 powers relate to 28 December 2002. As at that date, 215 persons (to the nearest five) were being detained in Prison Service accommodation of which 110 are recorded as having claimed asylum at some stage.
The routine use of Prison Service accommodation for immigration detainees ended at the beginning of 2002, but it remains necessary to hold small numbers of 395W detainees in prison for reasons of control and security. The figure of 215 may also include individuals who are held pending deportation on completion of custodial sentences.
Information on Immigration Act detainees as at 29 March 2003 will be published on 30 May 2003 on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigrationl.html.