Albanian prisoners to serve sentences overseas to free up cell space
Albanian prisoners to be deported: 200 of the country’s nationals in English and Welsh jails will serve rest of their sentences overseas to ‘free up’ space in UK cells, Government reveals
- As part of the deal, Britain will help Albania to modernise its prison system
The Government has announced 200 Albanian nationals jailed in England and Wales will be sent home for the rest of their sentence – amid concerns that UK prisons are nearing capacity.
According to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), offenders who have been handed terms of four years or more will return to their native country for the remainder of their sentence.
The department confirmed that Britain will help support Albania to help modernise its own prison system, as part of the arrangement.
It comes after justice minister Lord Bellamy KC told Parliament that jails are ‘quite tight’ and at 99% capacity.
Speaking to peers, he said the Government is concerned about the increasing prison population and how it is nearing its upper limit.
Justice secretary Alex Chalk said that ‘the public expects that foreign criminals should serve their sentences overseas – not in our prisons at the expense of the taxpayer’
‘Collaboration with our international partners is an essential part of making this possible,’ Chalk added
The MoJ said the new deal will ‘free up’ jail space in England and Wales and double the number of offenders without UK citizenship removed annually.
Between 27 April 2021 and 27 April 2023, the Government repatriated 112 inmates under prisoner transfer agreements.
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said: ‘I am grateful to my Albanian counterpart, Ulsi Manja, for his efforts to shape our growing partnership on justice issues.
‘The public expects that foreign criminals should serve their sentences overseas – not in our prisons at the expense of the taxpayer.
‘This deal will speed up the removal of these offenders and give victims confidence that serious criminals will continue to face justice and spend the remainder of their sentence behind bars.
‘Collaboration with our international partners is an essential part of making this possible.’
Ulsi Manja, the Albanian justice minister, said: ‘This new arrangement demonstrates the strong partnership between the UK and Albanian governments.
‘Two years after the agreement for the transfer of prisoners from the United Kingdom to Albania was ratified, we have concluded a technical arrangement that will benefit both countries.
‘At its core, every Albanian convict in the United Kingdom shall be given the opportunity to serve the remaining sentence in Albania, near their families, while we also increase our efforts to ensure the modernisation of the Albanian penitentiary system.’
Source: Read Full Article