Political News Updates

15.06.2014

Prisoners: Repatriation

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with which countries the UK is currently negotiating prisoner transfer agreements. [199506]

Jeremy Wright: Prisoner transfer agreements can be a sensitive issue for some countries and it could be counter-productive to reveal details of discussions before they are concluded. However, I can assure you that my ministerial colleagues and I are actively engaging with a number of countries and remain determined to secure compulsory agreements wherever possible.

All foreign national offenders sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Prisoner Transfer process is just one mechanism for removing Foreign National Offenders. The number of FNOs deported under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) has increased under this Government. In 2013, we removed nearly 2,000 FNOs under ERS and under the Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS), which we introduced in May 2012, we have removed over 240 FNOs to date.

Whereas this Government has begun to reduce the foreign national population in prison since 2010, between 1997 and 2010, the number of foreign nationals in our prisons more than doubled.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many Ministerial visits to foreign countries during which prisoner transfer agreements were discussed took place (a) between May 1997 and May 2010 and (b) since May 2010. [199507]

Jeremy Wright: Ministers across government pro-actively raise the prospect of PTAs when they are visiting countries where we have significant numbers of Foreign National Offenders. The issue is also raised when Ministers and senior officials from overseas visit the United Kingdom. We do not hold a central record of all the occasions PTAs have been raised in discussion.

All foreign national offenders sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Prisoner Transfer process is just one mechanism for removing Foreign National Offenders. The number of FNOs deported under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) has increased under this Government. In 2013, we removed nearly 2,000 FNOs under ERS and under the Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS), which we introduced in May 2012, we have removed over 240 FNOs to date.

Whereas this Government has begun to reduce the foreign national population in prison since 2010, between 1997 and 2010, the number of foreign nationals in our prisons more than doubled.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many full-time equivalent staff of his Department were working on prisoner transfer agreements on 1 April (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012, (d) 2013 and (e) 2014. [199508]

Jeremy Wright: Since 2010 there have been six officials in the MOJ and NOMS who spend a significant proportion of their time in relation to obtaining and supporting the implementation of Prisoner Transfer Arrangements (PTAs). These officials cover policy, operational and legal roles. This work is a high priority and there is coordinated director level input across government with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Home Office (HO) officials contributing to the objective to get compulsory PTAs.

All foreign national offenders sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Prisoner Transfer process is just one mechanism for removing Foreign National Offenders. The number of FNOs deported under the Early Removal Scheme {ERS) has increased under this Government. In 2013, we removed nearly 2,000 FNOs under ERS and under the Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS), which we introduced in May 2012, we have removed over 240 FNOs to date.

Whereas this Government has begun to reduce the foreign national population in prison since 2010, between 1997 and 2010, the number of foreign nationals in our prisons more than doubled.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with which countries and on what dates the UK has (a) signed and (b) ratified prisoner transfer agreements (i) between May 1997 and May 2010 and (ii) since May 2010. [199517]

Jeremy Wright: The information is as follows:

Table 1: Prisoner Transfer Arrangements (PTAs) signed between May 1997 and May 2010

Country

Date of signature

Date came into force

Voluntary or Compulsory Agreement (i.e. consent of prisoner required or not)

Antigua and Barbuda

23-Jun-03

20-Jan-04

Voluntary

Barbados

03-Apr-02

02-Mar-03

Voluntary

 

 

 

 

Brazil

20-Aug-98

11-Dec-01

Voluntary

Cuba

13-Jun-02

02-Jul-03

Voluntary

Commonwealth of Dominica

02-May-06

1—

Voluntary

Dominican Republic

18-Feb-03

1—

Voluntary

Ghana

17-Jul-08

17-Jul-08

Voluntary

Hong Kong SAR

05-Nov-97

19-Mar-98

Voluntary

India

18-Feb-05

21-Nov-05

Voluntary

Jamaica

26-Jun-07

1—

Voluntary

Laos

07-May-09

25-Sep-09

Voluntary

Lesotho (provisionally applied on signature)

06-Jun-07

1—

Voluntary

Libya

17-Nov-08

29-Apr-09

Compulsory

Morocco

21-Feb-02

01-Jul-13

Voluntary

Nicaragua

06-Sep-05

1—

Voluntary

Pakistan

24-Aug-07

19-Aug-08

Voluntary

Peru

07-Mar-03

11-Sep-03

Voluntary

Rwanda

11-Feb-10

23-Nov-10

Compulsory

St. Lucia

27-Apr-06

17-Jun-08

Voluntary

Sri Lanka

06-Feb-03

24-Mar-04

Voluntary

Suriname

29-Jun-02

1—

Voluntary

Uganda

12-Sep-08

1—

Voluntary

Venezuela

12-Jun-12

15-Apr-03

Voluntary

Vietnam

12-Sep-08

20-Sep-09

Voluntary

1 Not in force.

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Prisoner Transfer Arrangements (PTAs) signed May 2010 to date

Country

Date of signature

Date came into force

Voluntary or Compulsory Agreement (i.e. consent of prisoner or not)

Albania

15-Jan-13

11-Jun-13

Compulsory

Nigeria

09-Jan-14

1—

Compulsory

Saudi Arabia

02-Jan-12

02-Jul-12

Voluntary

Somaliland (Memorandum of Understanding rather than a PTA)

16-Apr-14

16-Apr-14

Compulsory

United Arab Emirates

24-Jan-13

02-Feb-14

Voluntary

1 Not in force—Nigerian PTA will shortly be in force. We are awaiting final exchange of diplomatic notes. First transfers are expected by the end of this calendar year (2014).

In addition to the bilateral prisoner transfer arrangements listed above the United Kingdom became a party to the following multi-party arrangements:

The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons

Signed: 9 February 2009 Entered into Force: 1 November 2009

Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA of the 27 November 2008 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union

Adopted: 27 November 2008 Entered into force: 5 December 2011

All foreign national offenders sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Prisoner Transfer process is just one mechanism for removing Foreign National Offenders. The number of FNOs deported under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) has increased under this Government. In 2013, we removed nearly 2,000 FNOs under ERS and under the Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS), which we introduced in May 2012, we have removed over 240 FNOs to date.

Whereas this Government has begun to reduce the foreign national population in prison since 2010, between 1997 and 2010, the number of foreign nationals in our prisons more than doubled.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether EU nationals sentenced before 5 December 2011 are eligible for repatriation under the EU Prisoner Transfer Agreement. [199518]

Jeremy Wright: Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA (The “EU PTA”) entered into force on 5 December 2011. To date 18 Member states, including the UK, have implemented the Agreement. The remainder are expected to do so by the end of this year (2014). Article 28

(2) of the EU PTA enables member states to issue a declaration restricting application of the agreement to persons sentenced on or after 5 December 2011. To date four member states (Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, and Poland) have made declarations under Article 28 (2).
All foreign national offenders sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Prisoner Transfer process is just one mechanism for removing Foreign National Offenders. The number of FNOs deported under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) has increased under this Government. In 2013, we removed nearly 2,000 FNOs under ERS and under the Tariff Expired Removal Scheme (TERS), which we introduced in May 2012, we have removed over 240 FNOs to date.

Whereas this Government has begun to reduce the foreign national population in prison since 2010, between 1997 and 2010, the number of foreign nationals in our prisons more than doubled.