§ Mr. Corbyn
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners convicted of offences in Northern Ireland are currently serving sentences in English, Scottish and Welsh prisons; and how many have been returned to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland to complete their sentences.
§ Mr. Mellor
The table gives the numbers of permanent transfers of prisoners under section 26(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1961 between England and Wales and Northern Ireland since 1980. Information about how many transferred prisoners are still in custody could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Year From Northern Ireland To Northern Ireland 1980 3 1 1981 2 — 1982 1 — 1983 2 3 1984 3 1 1985 — 4 1986 — 2 1987 — 3 1988 — 10 11989 4 14 1 To 13 October.
Transfers of prisoners between Northern Ireland and Scotland are matters for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Transfers of prisoners are not possible between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland as, although the Republic of Ireland has signed the Council of Europe convention on the transfer of sentenced persons, it has not yet ratified it. The United Kingdom ratified the convention in 1985.