HL Deb 06 April 1995 vol 563 cc36-7WA
Lord Holme of Cheltenham

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they intend to implement the recommendation of the Woolf Report in respect of prison conditions and if so what proposals they have to accelerate and complete the transfer of appropriate prisoners held in mainland Britain to Northern Ireland.

The Lord Advocate (Lord Rodger of Earlsferry)

The Government's response to the recommendations contained in Lord Justice Woolf s report was set out in the White PaperCustody, Care and Justice and a programme of work addressing the major recommendations was set out.

Prisoners have been able to request transfers between United Kingdom jurisdictions since the Criminal Justice Act 1961 came into force. It is open to any prisoner to request a transfer. Requests are considered on an individual basis against criteria announced to Parliament on 23 November 1992. The criteria are intended to facilitate the orderly movement of small numbers of prisoners between jurisdictions to enable them to maintain and strengthen family ties.

Requests made by prisoners to transfer to Northern Ireland are considered in consultation with my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Each request is determined as quickly as is possible, but the timing of each transfer is subject to operational and security considerations in both jurisdictions.