GETTING PROBATION APPROVAL FOR YOUR IMMIGRATION BAIL ADDRESS

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1 Factsheet 2 GETTING PROBATION APPROVAL FOR YOUR IMMIGRATION BAIL ADDRESS I m a foreign national ex-offender, I m still on Licence, and I want to apply for immigration bail. What do I need to do? September 2013 Winner of the JUSTICE Human Rights Award

2 Bail for Immigration Detainees is a national charity that works with asylum seekers and migrants to secure their release from detention. BID works with detainees in all removal centres in the UK, and with immigration detainees held in prisons at the end of their sentence. We provide free legal advice, information and support to immigration detainees to help them exercise their right to liberty and access to justice. We prepare and present (free of charge) applications for release on bail or temporary admission We carry out research and use evidence from our legal casework to influence decision-makers, including civil servants, parliamentarians, and regulatory bodies through policy advocacy. Disclaimer Although every effort is made to ensure the information in this factsheet is accurate and up to date, it should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of the law. BID cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences. The information in this factsheet is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem you should talk to a lawyer or legal adviser before making a decision about what to do. Please check that this factsheet is up to date before using it. Please also check whether BID has written other factsheets or leaflets that might be relevant to you. All BID factsheets and leaflets can be found at Copyright BID

3 Release on immigration bail to a private address while under Licence: how to get Probation approval for your address You can apply to the immigration tribunal for release on immigration bail If you are on an immigration hold in prison at the end of your sentence (you are being held under immigration powers and the Home Office/UKBA is involved in your case) Or if you are being held in an immigration removal centre (IRC) after your prison sentence You can apply for release on immigration bail even if the Home Office has said that they want to deport you from the UK. If you apply for release on immigration bail you must give the immigration tribunal an address where you plan to stay if they let you out. If you are still under Licence, then it will be a condition of your Licence that this address must be approved by the Probation service. This booklet explains how to do this. It will also tell you what you can do if you cannot get Probation to give you a decision about the address within a reasonable period of time, and that delay is stopping you from making a bail application. 3

4 Who is this factsheet going to help? This information is designed to help People who have been given a standard determinate prison sentence by the criminal court. A determinate prison sentence is for a fixed length of time. People who are being held in prison under immigration powers, or who are nearing the end of their sentence and think they might be put on an immigration hold. People who are being detained in an immigration removal centre (IRC). People who will be using a private address to stay at if released on bail (not a Home Office address like Section 4 bail accommodation). This factsheet does not apply to you if You are serving a life sentence or an indeterminate sentence. An indeterminate prison sentence doesn t have a fixed length of time, which means that no date is set when you will be released from prison, and you will have to serve a minimum amount of time in prison (called a tariff ) before you are considered for release by the Parole Board. Your Licence conditions require you to live in Approved Premises on release. Approved Premises provide accommodation managed by the Probation Service, with an overnight curfew and 24 hour supervision of residents by trained staff. Approved Premises were formerly known as bail hostels or probation hostels. You are under 21 years old. You have applied or will need to apply - to the Home Office (UKBA) for Section 4 (1)(c ) bail accommodation and financial support because you don t have access to a private address. If you are still on Licence and you need Section 4 bail accommodation, the Home Office (UKBA) will make arrangements for Probation approval of the Section 4 accommodation before they send you details of the bail address. If you are having problems getting Section 4 bail accommodation and you are on Licence you can contact BID for information and advice. 4

5 If any of these things describe your situation, then you can still read this factsheet, but there may be other things you need to know as well. Please contact BID s London office directly with your question. BID, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS. Telephone: ; Fax: ; I am detained and I have dependent children If you have dependent children and are applying for release on immigration bail during your Licence period, please contact the BID Family Legal Team on or or at BID Family Legal Team, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS. It s very complicated! We know that getting Probation approval for your release address can be complicated and difficult. At BID we think this should all be quicker and easier to deal with. We are working with the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and other government bodies to try to persuade them to sort this out. But until that happens we will do what we can to help you through the process, and will show you how you can complain when things go wrong. One useful thing you can do is to keep a written record of who you speak to about getting Probation approval of your bail address, the dates when you speak or write to them, what they say to you about your address, and how long it takes you to get this clearance. It may help your case if you have this information and can give it to a court later on to show how hard you have been trying to get Probation approval of your address. You can find BID s contact details on the back of this booklet. 5

6 Words used in this booklet AP BID FTT IRC MAPPA NFA NOMS OMU SOPO UKBA Approved Premises Bail for Immigration Detainees First-tier Tribunal (sometimes referred to in this factsheet as the Tribunal ) Immigration Removal Centre Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements No fixed abode (no permanent address or accommodation in the community) National Offender Management Service Offender Management Unit Sexual Offences Prevention Order UK Border Agency. In 2013 UKBA was made a part of the Home Office. You may still have letters and other documents given to you by the UKBA so in this factsheet we have referred to the Home Office (UKBA) 6

7 1. Introduction: your Licence conditions and immigration bail If your prison sentence is less than 12 months You will not be given a release Licence (different conditions may apply if you are under 21 years old). This means that Probation approval will not be needed for your release address if you are later put on an immigration hold and want to apply for release on immigration bail. But if you have been served with any kind of ancillary order (e.g. a restraining order), then Probation or the Police may need to be involved in some different way in decisions about where you live on release. If you have been given a determinate ( fixed term ) prison sentence of 12 months or more but less than 4 years you will serve the first half of your sentence in prison and the second half in the community on Licence while being supervised by Probation, unless you have already been removed from the UK before reaching your sentence half-way point, or unless you are put on an immigration hold by the Home Office and kept in custody as a detainee. If you are kept on an immigration hold after the half-way point of your prison sentence, then you will be on Licence until the end of your sentence even though you are still in custody. If you are being held in prison, you will know you are on an immigration hold if the Home Office has given you a document called the IS91R Reasons for Detention form. This form explains why you have been detained and what legal powers are being used to hold you as an immigration detainee. This form is also served on people who are held in immigration removal centres (IRCs). If you have been given a sentence of one year or more, the Probation service will be involved in your supervision when you are released into the community. If NOMS has decided that you are a medium or high risk offender, you will also have Probation support while you are serving your sentence. The Probation team within a prison is usually based in the Offender Management Unit (OMU) and you should have an Offender Supervisor. They can help you during your sentence and as you prepare for release. You should usually meet your Offender Supervisor quite soon after you arrive in prison. 7

8 You may find that prison staff will assume that you will not be released during your Licence period. But if you are on an immigration hold after your sentence you have the right to apply to the immigration tribunal for release on immigration bail. This means that if your sentence is 12 months or more, then your Offender Supervisor and the Discharge Board should treat you as if you could be released into the community at your Automatic Release Date. Your Offender Supervisor should begin to take steps to arrange for Probation approval of the release address that you give them, as part of your discharge process. Until the Home Office (UKBA) serves you with a form called an IS91R ( Reasons for Detention ), the prison should continue to prepare you for release at the half-way point of your sentence as if you were a UK citizen. The prison is not supposed to treat foreign nationals any differently to UK citizens while they are serving their sentence. However, in practice this may not happen. You may also find that prison staff don t realise that even if you are still held in a prison after you have served the custodial part of your sentence, you can apply to the immigration tribunal for release on immigration bail as soon as you go on an immigration hold. So prison staff may not realise that they should prepare you for release on Licence just like British citizen prisoners. You can apply for release on immigration bail even if the Home Office (UKBA) is trying to deport you under what are called automatic deportation powers (because your sentence was for 12 months or more). You can take this booklet to show your Offender Supervisor, or the Offender Management Unit, your personal officer, or the Foreign National Coordinator. (The officers who you have contact with may be different in your prison). 2. Why do I need to get Probation approval for my immigration bail address? If you are applying for release on immigration bail and you are still within your Licence period, getting probation approval of where you will live is one of the six standard Licence conditions. 8

9 Here is what this condition says. It says that you must: reside permanently at an address approved by your supervising officer and notify him/her in advance of any proposed change of address or any proposed stay (even for one night) away from that approved address You may also have additional conditions or customised ( personal ) conditions added to your Licence. Some of these other conditions may relate to the address you want to live at, and they may affect the decision that Probation make about giving approval for your address. If your Licence period is finished ( expired ) but you are still on an immigration hold in prison or in an IRC, then you should not need Probation approval of your bail address unless any of these apply to your case You are required to sign the Sex Offenders Register You will be managed under MAPPA on release You are subject to a Sexual Offences Protection Order (SOPO) 3. How do I know what my Licence conditions are? Who is my Probation Officer or Offender Manager? If you are on an immigration hold in a prison and are not sure about the conditions of your Licence, or whether you are still within your Licence period, ask the Offender Management Unit (OMU), or the Foreign National Coordinator in your prison to check the terms of your Licence and tell you the name of your local Probation Trust if you were to be released on bail. If you are being held in an IRC and are still within your Licence period then you should contact your Probation Officer in the area where you were living when you were convicted. If you have never lived in the UK and were arrested on or shortly after arrival in the UK, or if you have no fixed abode (NFA) then contact the Probation Trust for the area where you were convicted or the Offender Management Unit in the prison you were last held in. 9

10 For example If you were arrested on arrival at Manchester Airport, have never lived in the UK, and were convicted in Manchester, then contact Greater Manchester Probation Trust. If you have been living in Manchester for ten years and were arrested and convicted in Manchester, then contact Greater Manchester Probation Trust. If you have been living in Manchester for ten years but were arrested and convicted in London, then we suggest you contact Greater Manchester Probation Trust rather than London Probation Trust. If you can get access to the internet you can use this link to find a list of Probation Trusts You could also write to your Home Office (UKBA) caseowner to ask for details of your licence conditions. You can contact BID for information and advice on finding the relevant probation trust and finding your probation officer/offender manager If you are planning to make an application for release on immigration bail. If you have been waiting for weeks or months for Probation approval of your address and want to make a complaint. 4. Choosing the best address to use for your bail application What factors might lead to your address being refused by Probation? If you are still within your Licence period, the address that you want to use as a bail address will need to be approved by Probation. You can help to make it more likely that Probation will approve the address by doing some thinking about your address. 10

11 For example, Probation might be more likely to say your release address is not suitable if it is the address where your offence for which you were convicted was committed, or if there are other people with a criminal conviction living at that address. To save delay in applying for release you should try to find a different address for your bail application, one which is not linked to offending behaviour. If you are being held in prison you could ask staff in the Offender Management Unit (OMU) or the officer who assists foreign nationals to explain this. If you have an Offender Supervisor she or he might help you. If you are being held in an IRC then you could contact your Offender Manager/Probation Officer. If you have a lawyer assisting you with making a bail application, then you could show them this page. You can also contact BID if you are planning to make a bail application and require any more information about suitable release addresses and getting approval from Probation. 5. If I succeed in getting the address approved can I make more bail applications if I am refused bail the first time? There is no official guidance or policy on this, but if your bail application is not successful you should be able to rely on the fact that Probation has checked and approved your bail address for at least a few months in order to make another bail application (but without having to go through this long process). If you have applied for bail but been refused, if you apply again quite soon you might be able to use the same address without getting it checked and approved again. However, if your personal circumstances have changed, for example if someone new moves into the address where you want to live, you may not be able to rely on this approval. We suggest that if you are not sure you should phone or write to your current Offender Manager or the Offender Management Unit staff. 11

12 6. I m still serving my sentence but getting near my half way point what should I do about my release address? A few weeks before the half-way point in your sentence, you should go through a process known as discharge, or a discharge board. This involves a series of steps that prepare you for release into the community. These discharge steps include explaining your Licence conditions to make sure that you understand them, checking the dates of your sentence, giving you advice about benefits, help with education and training support on release, and confirming your release address. The Offender Management Unit staff in your prison, among other people, are responsible for preparing you for release on Licence as part of your resettlement. About eight weeks before your Automatic Release Date you should give them your release address (if you have one) and ask them to arrange for Probation approval of that address by the time of your Automatic Release Date. You can tell them that if you are not released automatically on your release date, but are instead put on an immigration hold, then you will be applying for release from prison on immigration bail. We suggest that you go back to the OMU again 4-6 weeks before your Automatic Release Date and check to see whether they have begun the process of getting Probation approval for your release address. This should make it easier and quicker for you to apply for release on immigration bail if you are then put on an immigration hold at the end of the custodial part of your prison sentence. Once you are on an immigration hold, the Home Office (UKBA) becomes responsible for arranging the Probation approval of your bail address. Keep a written record of who you speak to about getting Probation approval of your address, what they say, and how long it takes you to get this clearance. You may need to give this information to a court later on, to show how hard you have been trying to get your address approved so that you can apply for release on immigration bail. 12

13 7. I m on an immigration hold and still in my Licence period. How do I get Probation approval for my bail address? I want to apply for release on immigration bail, how do I do this? If you do not have an immigration lawyer you can make your own application for release on bail. BID provides telephone or postal support to people making their own bail applications. If you can access the internet then check our website for further information. If you can make telephone calls then call one of the numbers on the back of this booklet. If you are in prison and prefer to write then contact us at BID, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS and we will send you a prison pack. I want to apply for bail, what about my Licence conditions? After you have finished the custodial part of your sentence and if you are now on an immigration hold in prison or an IRC, you can apply for release on immigration bail. If you are still within your Licence period then Probation approval will need to be obtained for the release address that you give to the Tribunal in your bail application. If you are on an immigration hold it is the responsibility of the Home Office (UKBA) to tell Probation to carry out any licence-related checks on the bail address you have suggested in the area you want to live, if released. So how does this work? When you send your immigration bail application to an immigration tribunal hearing centre, a number of things will happen quite quickly: The Tribunal will tell the Home Office (UKBA) that you have applied for release. The Home Office (UKBA) must then immediately make a request to the Probation Trust in the area of your bail address to start the process for checking your address (and hopefully giving their approval). The immigration Tribunal will give you a hearing date for your bail application which will be very soon after you have made your application. Your bail application will normally be heard between 3-6 working days of you faxing your bail application to the hearing centre. There is a problem with this system at the moment, which is that unless your address has been checked and approved during your 13

14 discharge process, Probation will not be able to finish the checks and approve your address within 3-6 days of your bail application reaching the Tribunal hearing centre. If I try to get my application for release on bail heard before my address has been approved by Probation, what will happen? On the day of your bail hearing, if your address has not been approved by the Probation Trust then the immigration judge will not want to hear your case. This is very frustrating, but the Immigration Tribunal is protecting you from breaching your Licence by mistake. This is because the judge at the immigration tribunal will not want to release you to an address that has not been approved by Probation. If he or she were to decide to release you without Probation approval of your address, then you will be in breach of your Licence and could face recall to prison. Recall could affect your immigration case in the future. So if the tribunal or the judge finds out that Probation has not approved your address they will probably ask you to withdraw your bail application, either at the hearing or just before the hearing. Where does the Probation approval go to? How will I know that my address has been approved and that my bail application will be heard? Once they have carried out checks on your address, Probation will tell the Home Office (UKBA) that they approve (or don t approve) your address. Probation does not have to tell you or the immigration tribunal what they have decided about your address. They only have to tell the Home Office (UKBA). Probation may decide that the release address you have suggested is not suitable. They may be able to give you reasons why the address is not suitable. Sometimes Probation will not be able give you reasons for the refusal and this may be related to the nature of your offence for which you have been convicted. If the address is not approved by Probation then you will have to find another address and have that one checked too. If you have a solicitor or legal advisor like BID helping you with your bail application, they should try to find out from Probation whether your bail address has been approved. This may take many phone calls and letters over several weeks. 14

15 If you are making your own bail application it can be difficult to find out whether your address has been approved by Probation. Please contact BID for further information and assistance. Delays There may be problems getting the Probation Trust checks and approval process finished by the date of your immigration bail hearing at the immigration tribunal. These are some of the delays that you might experience: There may be delays before the Home Office (UKBA) gives an instruction to Probation to start the checks on your address. Probation may also take a long time before they start, or before they carry out, or before they finish the checks on your address. If Probation carry out checks and decide that your address is not suitable for your release, then you will have to find another address and get that checked too. What can I do about these delays in checking my bail address? A Probation Trust is allowed to decide that they must wait for an instruction from the Home Office (UKBA) before they start the checking process for your bail address. The rules allow them to wait for this instruction. So you may find that even if you speak to the Probation Trust they do not want to start the checks before the Home Office (UKBA) has been in touch with them. Keep a written record of any conversation that you have with the Probation Trust. You may need to give this information to a court later on. You or your legal advisor may need to try a few different things to speed up the process or get a decision on your bail address. Here s a list of things you could try: First of all, try to speed things up yourself If you have no legal advisor then you could try yourself to make contact with your Offender Manager or the Probation Trust in the area where your bail address is located. If you are being held in a prison you could ask the OMU or the prison officer that helps foreign nationals to find out which Probation Trust you should contact, even if they do not want to help you by making contact with Probation on your behalf. If you are in 15

16 an IRC and have access to the internet you can use this link to find a list of Probation Trusts Make sure that UKBA have asked for a Probation check on your bail address. If Probation won t do the check ask the Home office (UKBA) to give an instruction to Probation to carry out licence-related address checks. Speak to the Home Office (UKBA) representative in your prison (or your Home Office (UKBA) caseowner if there are no UKBA officials on site). Tell them you want to apply for bail, and ask them to confirm that the part of the Home Office (UKBA) called the Criminal Casework Directorate has told Probation that they should start checking the address. If the Home Office (UKBA) does not do this, then there will be delays and you may not be able to get your application for release heard. Keep a written record of what the Home Office (UKBA) tells you. What date did you speak to them or write to them, and who did you speak to? Can the Home Office (UKBA) confirm that they have instructed Probation to start checking your address? If not, then what is their explanation for this? You or your legal representative may need to give this information to a court later on if you challenge the delay. Get help from prison staff As soon as you know you want to apply for release on immigration bail, go to the Offender Management Unit (OMU) in the prison and ask them to speak to the Probation Trust where you want to be released to, and ask them to start the approval process for your address. If the OMU has prepared you for release before the end of your sentence, as they are supposed to, then they should have already begun the process with the relevant Probation Trust. But even if they haven t started the process yet, they can help you now. Keep a written record of who you speak to about getting Probation approval, what they say, and how long it takes you to get this clearance. You may need to give this information to a court later on. Get help from your legal advisor If you have a lawyer, you could ask your lawyer to find out which Probation Trust is responsible for approving your bail address. Your 16

17 lawyer could then call this Probation Trust to ask them if they will start the approval process and start making checks on your bail address so that you can make an application for release on immigration bail. Make a complaint to Probation about the delay BID believes that 4 weeks is a reasonable length of time for Probation to carry out Licence-related address checks. If you are sure that the Home Office (UKBA) has given the instruction to the Probation Trust to ask them to check the address you wish to use for your bail application, and the checks have not been completed 4 weeks after that, then you can make a complaint to Probation about their failure to complete the check within a reasonable period of time. To find out how to make a complaint see the next section in this booklet. 8. How to make a complaint to Probation about the delay in checking your bail address You need to make a complaint to the Probation Trust that is currently responsible for your case, not the Probation Trust that is taking a long time to check your immigration bail address. This might seem odd, but is the way that the Probation service complaint system works. If you are being held in an IRC and have access to the internet you can use this link to find a list of Probation Trusts and the address where you should send your letter of complaint. First - make an informal written complaint about the delay We suggest you address the letter to the Chief Executive of your current Probation Trust. Ask him or her to send the letter to the person who is in charge of your Offender Manager, and tell them that this is an informal complaint. Give them details of the address you want to use if released on bail. Tell them that the Probation Trust in that area has failed to carry out licencerelated checks within a reasonable time, and because of that you cannot exercise your right to apply for release on immigration bail. 17

18 Tell them that you would like the checks to be completed within 30 days, and that you wish to be told the result of the check so that you can make your bail application. Keep a copy of the letter that you send. You or your lawyer may need to give this information to a court later on. You should receive a response to your informal complaint within 10 days. See the template letter on page 17 of this booklet. Second make a formal written complaint about the delay This complaint should be addressed to the Chief Executive of your current Probation Trust. Tell the Chief Executive that you have tried to resolve the delay informally, but without success, and provide a copy of correspondence if you can. Tell them that the delay is stopping you from exercising your right to apply to the First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) for release on immigration bail. Tell them what you want to happen - completion of the address check procedure within 7 days, and for you to be given the results of the check as well as the Home Office (UKBA). Keep a copy of the letter that you send. You or your lawyer may need to give this information to a court later on. This formal complaint will take a bit longer than the informal complaint, but the national policy is that you should get an answer from the Chief Executive within 30 days of his or her office getting your letter. See the template letter on page 18 of this booklet. At the end of this booklet you will find two template letters that you can use to make your own informal complaint and formal complaint to Probation. 18

19 What if the address-checks are not completed even after I complain? If you make a complaint to the Chief Executive of your current Probation Trust but still don t get the licence-related address checks completed then you can make a complaint to a more senior authority. For example, the next stage is for you to make an appeal to your current Probation Trust against the decision given to you by the Chief Executive. Then if that is not satisfactory you can ask for an external review by the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman, and finally you can take your complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration via a Member of Parliament. But these steps will take a long time, probably several months. If you are still detained at that point you may even find that your Licence period has expired and that your bail address doesn t need to be approved by Probation. You should not have to wait for your Licence period to expire before you can exercise your right to apply for release on immigration bail. You may therefore want to talk to your lawyer about bringing a legal challenge against these delays. 9. I can t apply for release - I ve been told to withdraw my bail application by the judge because my address is not approved yet If you find that Nothing seems to be happening with the checking and approval of your bail address; or You have been waiting more than eight weeks for Probation to check and approve your bail address; or You cannot submit a bail application and get it heard because the Probation approval process is taking so long. Either the tribunal hearing centre won t give you a date for your hearing or the judge tells you to withdraw your application. This may have happened to you more than once. If you have a lawyer they might want to consider whether taking legal action should be the next step if the delays are stopping you from exercising your right to apply for release from detention on immigration bail. It may be 19

20 necessary to challenge the Probation Trust, or the Home Office (UKBA), or both. You should not have to wait for weeks or months in detention in order to make a bail application just because you are still on Licence. Your detention may have become unlawful. If you do not have a lawyer you can contact BID for further information and assistance, and to tell us about your situation. If you have a lawyer, we can also send a copy of this booklet to them if you ask us to. BID s contact details are on the back of this booklet. 20

21 STEP 1 Template letter of informal complaint to your Probation Trust To [put the name and address of the Chief Executive of your current Probation Trust here] Date [today s date] Dear Sir or Madam Informal Complaint about delay in carrying out licence-related checks on my proposed immigration bail address. Provide as much of this information as you can Your full name and date of birth Current address Prison number Home Office number Port reference Date of licence expiry Proposed release address I am currently being held under immigration powers in [put your IRC or prison name here]. Please forward this letter to the line manager of my current Offender Manager. I wish to exercise my right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) for release on immigration bail. In order to do that my proposed release address must be checked and approved by Probation in relation to my release Licence. The Tribunal will not consider my bail application unless this is done, because release under these circumstances would put me at risk of breaching my Licence. My complaint My complaint is that these checks were requested by the Home Office several weeks ago but still have not been completed by Probation within a reasonable period of time. What I would like you to do I would like my Offender Manager to ensure that i) the relevant address checks are completed within 30 days ii) I am notified of the result of the address check. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and anyway within ten working days of receipt of this letter, as your complaints policy requires. Yours sincerely [Enter your name here] 21

22 STEP 2 Template letter of formal complaint to your Probation Trust To [put the name and address of the Chief Executive of your current Probation Trust here] Date [today s date] Dear Sir or Madam Formal complaint about delay in carrying out licence-related checks on my proposed immigration bail address. Provide as much of this information as you can Your full name and date of birth Current address Prison number Home Office number Port reference Date of licence expiry Proposed release address I am currently being held under immigration powers in [put your IRC or prison name here]. I wish to exercise my right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) for release on immigration bail. In order to do that my proposed release address must be checked and approved by Probation in relation to my release Licence. The Tribunal will not consider my bail application unless this is done, because release under these circumstances would put me at risk of breaching my Licence. My complaint On [enter date] I wrote to your Probation Trust to request informal resolution of my complaint about the delay in completing the relevant licence-related checks on my proposed release address in order that I may lodge an application for release on immigration bail. These checks have still not been completed, and I have not been informed of the result by the Trust as requested. My complaint is that these checks, which were requested by the Home Office several weeks ago, still have not been completed by Probation within a reasonable period of time. This has made it impossible for me to exercise my right to apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum) for release on immigration bail. What I would like you to do I would like my Offender Manager to ensure that iii) the relevant address checks are completed within 30 days iv) I am notified of the result of the address check. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and anyway within thirty days of receipt of this letter, as your complaints policy requires. Yours sincerely [Enter your name here] 22

23 GATHERING EVIDENCE 1. Keep a record of all phone calls & conversations with your offender manager/supervisor, a probation trust, the offender management unit, or the Home Office (UKBA) Every time you have a telephone conversation with your offender manager/supervisor, a Probation Trust, the Offender Management Unit in your prison, or a Home Office (UKBA) official you should write down on paper what you talked about, the questions that you were asked, and the answers that you gave. Try to get the name and job of the person you spoke to and write that down too, and put the day of the week, the date and the time as well. You should ask for their name at the start of the conversation. If the telephone conversation does not go well, or you hear something you don t like, you should keep calm and try not to get angry. When the phone call is finished write down as much as you can remember of what was said. You will then have a record of discussions that will help you to remember what was said, and which can be used as evidence in court. 2. Keep all notes you sent to and receive from your Offender Manager/Supervisor or Home Office (UKBA) caseowner about your bail address Every time you send a request to your offender manager or Home Office (UKBA) caseowner to ask what is happening about your bail address, make sure that you keep all your notes and their written responses. If they don't respond to one of your requests you should make a note on a piece of paper and keep the note. You will then have a record of your requests for information and help with your bail address. This will help you to remember what was said, and you can use your notes as evidence in court. 3. Get proof of posting when sending letters and faxes If you write letters or send a fax to try to obtain information about your bail address and getting it checked and approved by Probation you should: Keep a copy of the letter you sent and make a note on the copy of the date you sent it to be posted. Try to get proof of posting' from the Post Office so that you can prove to the Home Office (UKBA) or the court that you have written the letter. If you have a visitor from the visitors' group at your prison or removal centre you could ask them if they will help you with this, but not all groups will be able to help with this. Keep the envelopes of all letters that are sent to you, as this will prove the date of posting. 23

24 How to contact BID By post: Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS Website: Enquiries: BID (London office): Telephone: Helpline open Monday - Thursday Fax: For detainees in Colnbrook, Harmondsworth, Yarl's Wood, Tinsley House, Morton Hall, Haslar, Dover, Dungavel, and immigration detainees held in prisons. BID (Oxford office) Telephone: Helpline open Tuesday - Friday Fax: For detainees in Campsfield House and Brook House. BID (Family legal team): Telephone: Monday - Thursday By post: Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6LS For parents separated from their children by detention. 24

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