§ Mr. Corbett
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the arrangements by which residents of Northern Ireland, and foreign nationals convicted of criminal offences in Northern Ireland, may apply for transfer to their home countries outside the United Kingdom to complete their sentences; and how many such transfers have been made in each of the last five years. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Prison Service under its chief executive, Mr. Alan Shannon. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from B. R. D. White to Mr. Robin Corbett, dated 2 April 1996:In the absence of the Chief Executive, the Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your parliamentary question regarding government policy in respect of the repatriation of prisoners to and from Northern Ireland.The repatriation of prisoners to and from the United Kingdom is governed by the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984. Repatriation may be considered where the country to which application is being made is a signatory to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons or to the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders or has a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom.To be eligible for repatriation a prisoner must have received his final sentence for an offence which is a criminal offence under the law of the receiving country, be a national of that country or have close family ties there and as a general rule have at least six months of his sentence to serve at the time of application. Repatriation requires the consent of both jurisdictions and the prisoner concerned. In considering whether to accept a request for repatriation to another jurisdiction it has been the policy of Her Majesty's Government not to agree to a transfer where such a move would result in a substantial reduction in time left to serve.In the past five years no prisoner convicted of an offence committed in Northern Ireland has requested to be repatriated to another jurisdiction. No applications for repatriation to Northern Ireland have been received in the same period.