Skip to main content

Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 12 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many foreign nationals who have been sentenced to imprisonment in the United Kingdom are currently serving their sentences in prisons in their own countries; and what rules and arrangements determine their early release; and[HL5998]

Whether deportation of foreign nationals who have been given custodial sentences in the United Kingdom, but who have not completed those sentences, invariably involves an agreement with the Government of the country to which they are deported that they should be kept in prison in that country until they have completed their sentences, as determined by the United Kingdom rules for early release.[HL5999]

The Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984 enables prisoners to be repatriated to continue serving their sentences in accordance with international arrangements to which the United Kingdom is a party. The United Kingdom is a party to two multi-party agreements: the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, and the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders. In addition, the United Kingdom has concluded bilateral prisoner transfer agreements with 19 countries. In all, the UK has a prisoner transfer arrangement with 96 countries and territories. Under each of these agreements, the release arrangements following transfer are those applicable in the state to which the prisoner has been transferred, not those of the UK. Since 1 January 2002, 392 prisoners have been transferred to other countries to continue serving their sentences. British prisoners may be deported and removed from the United Kingdom early under the early removal scheme. This scheme enables prisoners to be removed up to 135 days prior to the halfway point of their sentence.