UK signs prisoner transfer agreement with Albania

UK and Albania have signed an agreement allowing Albanian prisoners to be sent back to Albania to finish their prison sentences.

The compulsory prisoner transfer agreement will allow the British government to transfer those eligible Albanian nationals in UK jails back to their home country to serve the rest of their sentences.

The UK currently holds almost 200 Albanian national prisoners and the Prison Service has already identified those who are eligible for transfer. All eligible cases have been referred to the UK Border Agency for deportation and the first transfers are expected later this year.

This is the UK's first major bilateral prisoner transfer agreement providing for compulsory transfer outside the European Union. Albania is a Council of Europe member state and is subject to regular prison inspections.

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said he was “delighted to have been able to co-sign this prisoner transfer agreement with my Albanian counterpart.”

“The co-operation of the Albanian authorities has been crucial in ensuring these negotiations have proved so fruitful,” Mr. Wright said. “The British Government wants more foreign national prisoners to serve their sentences in their home country. We will continue to work with other governments to share best practice, improve standards and ultimately save the British taxpayer money.”

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