BEST’s aim is to ensure the safety, health and general wellbeing of Foreign National Offenders in custody, helping them to rehabilitate and prepare for a sustainable and law-abiding life on release.
Our objectives are to:
- ensure FNOs in HMPW can communicate and feel listened to in a safe and confidential manner.
- enhance their sense of dignity and self-respect.
- alleviate their sense of social and cultural isolation.
- reduce the incidence of suicide and self-harm among FNOs.
- increase their participation in the activities and services offered by the prison, such as life-skills, education and health.
- increase their ability to understand and exercise their legal rights.
- support the effectiveness of HMPW staff in dealing with FNOs, particularly at induction.
- BEST is the only organisation devoted to supporting FNOs in HMPW and is unique across the UK prison estate in its specific focus.
- We provide in-prison services five days a week. We have 4 volunteers who are security-vetted and key-trained and can see men on the Wings.
- We provide help in identifying and accessing appropriate legal support, particularly around bail, extradition and deportation, and support across a range of immigration issues, liaising closely with a number of law firms and the Home Office Immigration Team in the prison.
- We support the most vulnerable FNOs in immediate danger of suicide or self-harm (SASH).
- We facilitate contact with family and loved ones, providing phone credit where necessary.
- We provide information, advice and guidance to FNOs, in the most common foreign languages, through posters, the prison kiosk, and in-prison media. We also refer FNOs to partner organisations as required i.e. for health, housing, family support, addiction issues, legal needs etc.
- We facilitate communications with lawyers in order to accelerate legal processes, sometimes reducing a period of unlawful detention by several weeks.
- We offer befriending and support through our volunteer social visiting programme.
- Through all our activities and close working relationships with staff and partner organisations, we improve staff capability dealing with FNO issues and increase their capacity to carry out normal duties.
What our prisoners say
“In our culture if you say you’ll do something, it’s important you keep your word: when BEST says they’ll do it, they do it: it means a lot“Damian
“When I see you, I see hope”Osama
“BEST treat us with respect“Mariusz