Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Justice written question – answered on 5th February 2014.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which three countries have the most foreign nationals in UK prisons; and what steps he is taking to return those offenders to secure detention in their own countries.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The countries with most foreign nationals in UK prisons on 31 December 2013 are:

1. Poland (938 prisoners)

2. Irish Republic (779 prisoners)

3. Jamaica (737 prisoners).

Where appropriate we encourage voluntary transfers to Poland and the Irish Republic. Poland has derogation from accepting compulsory prisoner transfers under the EU Prisoner Transfer Arrangement (PTA) until December 2016. The Irish are yet to implement the EU PTA and given our close historic ties and the Common Travel Area the Home Office do not routinely consider Irish nationals for deportation. Jamaica is currently unwilling to sign a PTA but we seek appropriate opportunities to continue to raise the matter with them.

In January this year we signed a compulsory PTA with Nigeria (7thlargest population of FNOs) and last year we signed a PTA with Albania (11th). We expect to see prisoner transfers to both these countries before the end of this year.

In addition to the UK, 17 countries (including Romania, 4th largest FNO population) have now implemented the EU Prisoner Transfer Arrangement (PTA). We have forwarded 47 applications for transfer from the UK to other member states and completed 16 transfers under this mechanism to date. We expect to make many more this year.

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