§ Mr. Foulkes
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are the administrative arrangements for the transfer of prisoners between (a) England and Scotland and (b) England and Northern Ireland; and how many prisoners have been transferred in the last five years for which figures are available;
(2) what are the administrative arrangements covering the transfer of prisoners between (a) England and the Channel Islands and (b) England and the Isle of Man; and how many prisoners have been transferred in the last five years for which figures are available.
§ Mr. Mellor
There are powers under the Criminal Justice Act 1961 to transfer a sentenced prisoner on his own application between England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, or to the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, either permanently or temporarily. Prisoners sentenced in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man may be transferred permanently without their application; this is because of the limited facilities on the islands, particularly for long-term prisoners. There are also powers to transfer sentenced prisoners to face trial, and prisoners (whether sentenced or not) for other judicial purposes; these transfers do not require an application from the prisoner.
Transfers are made by order of the Secretary of State for the jurisdiction in which the prisoner is held initially, in agreement with the authorities in the receiving jurisdictions. Transfers from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are made by order of the Home Secretary, with the agreement of the island authorities. The detailed arrangements are described in circular instruction 1/1978, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.
The statistical information requested is not immediately available, and I will publish it in the Official Report.