Prisoners who have been paid benefits by mistake have been able to keep over £4 million a year, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. 

The Evening Standard report:

More than £18 million in benefits wrongly paid to prisoners for the past four years has not been clawed back, figures published today reveal.

A freedom of information request by the Mail on Sunday found that between 2007 and 2011, overpayments as a result of “customers being in prison” were made worth £31.7 million.

But the Department for Work and Pensions figures said only £13.1 million was recovered – a shortfall of £18.6 million, or £4.65 million per year.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.