Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Ceisteanna (444, 445, 446)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

444. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the arrangements in place to deal with Irish citizens who are sentenced to terms of imprisonment in Britain and repatriated to serve their sentence here with regard to the issue of remission; if prisoners avail of the remission arrangements in place in Britain at the time of their sentence or the remission arrangements here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15167/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

445. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there has been any change in policy regarding remission for prisoners repatriated to Irish jails from prisons in Britain or other countries since he took office; if prisoners end up serving longer sentences here than would have been the case had they not been repatriated as a result of Irish policy on remission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15168/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

446. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prisoners that have been repatriated to Irish prisons from abroad in each year since 2000; if he will provide a breakdown of the country from which the prisoners were repatriated in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15169/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 444 to 446, inclusive, together.

I can advise the Deputy that the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts, 1995 and 1997 provide a mechanism whereby non-nationals serving sentences in Ireland may apply to serve the remainder of their sentences in their own countries and, similarly, Irish persons who are imprisoned overseas may apply to serve the remainder of their sentences in Ireland. Such transfers may be facilitated where the other country has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

Transfer requests under the Convention are normally made by a prisoner through the governor of the prison in which he or she is detained. I decide on all such requests following the collation of a number of reports from various agencies setting out the consequences of such a transfer. The consent of all three parties in the process is required prior to any transfer, i.e. the sentencing state, the receiving state and the sentenced person.

Prisoners avail of the remission rate applicable in the country into which they are transferring. For prisoners transferring from Britain to the Republic of Ireland the Irish remission rate will be applied to the portion of their sentence which is outstanding.

I can confirm to the Deputy that there has been no change since I took office in the policy regarding remission for prisoner repatriated to Irish jails from prisons in Britain or other countries. It is possible that prisoners transferring to Ireland would serve longer sentences as the Irish remission rate is 25% and in Britain it is 50%.

The figures on the number of prisoners who have repatriated to Ireland from abroad is set out in the following table.

-

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total

UK

11

4

8

8

5

5

13

6

4

1

-

-

3

68

USA

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Panama

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

Spain

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

-

1

-

-

-

3

Japan

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

Northern Ireland

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

1

Italy

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

1

Total

11

4

8

8

7

5

14

8

5

2

0

1

3

76