The Justice Ministry wants to hasten the departure of criminals sentenced to serve their time in prison in their home nations by speeding up the processing time in such cases.
The justice minister, Karen Hækkerup, has revealed that a record number of foreign criminals were sent back to their countries to serve their time last year – a procedure in place to stop Danish prisons from filling up.
“With new specific goals, we are pushing harder to quickly get foreign inmates sent home to serve their time,” Hækkerup said in a press release.
“Obviously, Denmark shouldn’t foot the bill for foreigners who should be sitting behind bars at home.”
The initiative target states that at least 75 percent of the foreigners eligible for expulsion must in the future have their case tried within 20 days. Until now, the limit has been 30 days.
Furthermore, at least 75 percent of the cases must be presented to a foreign body with the necessary authority within 45 days, as opposed to the current 60 days.
The government has established a taskforce, Task Force Hjemsendelse, dedicated to increasing focus on sending foreign prisoners back home, and it has set up an exchange of experience with Norway and Sweden, as well as having constructive talks with nations like Lithuania, Serbia, Romania and Poland.
The increased focus on the issue has led to 34 foreign prisoners being sent home in 2013 – a long way short of the around 1,000 foreign prisoners in Denmark who could have legally been sent back.
It was reported last week that Danish prisons are currently overflowing with foreigners, and it is estimated they cost over 200 million kroner a year to house and feed.