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Prisoner Transfers

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment in England and Wales were transferred under (a) the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners and (b) the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders in each year since 1997; [121952](2) if he will set out the process by which a prisoner can apply for transfer under

(a) the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners and (b) the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders; [121953]

(3) if he will list the countries with which the UK has bilateral prisoner transfer agreements. [121954]

The following table records how many prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment in England and Wales who were transferred under (a) the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners and (b) on the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders in each year since 1997.

Council of Europe ConventionCommonwealth Scheme
199717
199842
199922
200035
200139
200250
The process by which a prisoner can apply for transfer under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders is the same. An application for transfer can only be made by either the sentencing state or the receiving state. The prisoner can initiate the process by a written indication to either state of his/her wish to transfer. In the case of a prisoner in England and Wales, this is made by completing a request/complaint form, which is freely available within prisons.Both the sentencing state and the receiving state will consider the request. If both states approve the transfer then the prisoner will be asked to give his formal consent. Once all three parties have given their consent, arrangements will be made for the transfer of the prisoner.The United Kingdom has bilateral prisoner transfer agreements with the following countries:

  • Egypt
  • Thailand
  • The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong
  • Brazil
  • Morocco
  • Barbados
  • Venezuela

The following agreements have been concluded but are not yet in force:

  • Cuba
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Peru
  • Sri Lanka
  • Dominican Republic
  • Antigua and Barbuda