Prisoners: Repatriation

Justice written question – answered on 7th March 2012.

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Photo of Martin Horwood Martin Horwood Liberal Democrat, Cheltenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) what estimate he has made of the number of non-UK EU citizens serving a custodial sentence in the UK that his Department expects to be able to repatriate to their home member state under the EU Prisoner Transfer framework in each of the next five years;

(2) how many non-UK EU citizens who were serving a custodial sentence in the UK his Department has repatriated to their home member state since the EU Prisoner Transfer framework came into force.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA (the EU Prisoner Transfer Agreement) which will govern the transfer of prisoners between member states of the European Union, entered into force on 5 December 2011. To date seven member states, including the United Kingdom, have implemented the compulsory arrangements. The Government have not made a specific assessment of the number of EU nationals who might be transferred under this agreement. However, we expect to see a steady increase in the number of EU nationals who are transferred as other member states implement the agreement. We are encouraging member states who have not yet done so to implement the agreement at the earliest opportunity.

Since 5 December 2011, 10 EU nationals have been transferred from England and Wales to other member states to continue serving their sentences. Transfer took place under existing voluntary arrangements for the transfer of prisoners between member states of the EU. No prisoners have yet been transferred under the new EU prisoner transfer agreement. In most cases a deportation order is necessary in order to effect the transfer. 24 prisoners have been identified as eligible for transfer. They have been referred to UKBA for consideration for deportation.

The transfer of prisoners from Scotland and from Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

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