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Saint Lucia and UK Agree to Transfer Prisoners

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Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - The Governments of Saint Lucia and UK Governments have concluded arrangements to introduce a bilateral Prisoner Transfer Agreement to allow nationals of each country convicted in the other to serve their sentences in their home state.

The agreement will allow British nationals serving a prison sentence in Saint Lucia and Saint Lucian nationals serving prison sentences in the UK to serve out their sentences in their home country – once all parties agree to the transfer.

The agreement encourages social rehabilitation of prisoners by giving them the opportunity to complete their sentences in their own countries.

For example, it will allow British nationals serving sentences at the Bordelais Correctional Facility in Saint Lucia to complete their prison terms in the UK. Vice versa, it will also allow for Saint Lucians serving sentences in the UK to complete their terms in their home country.

However, it also contains safeguards to prevent the transfer of prisoners, if doing so would impact on national security, which is an important point for the Saint Lucian Government.

But one of its stronger points is that the agreement also promotes the rehabilitation of prisoners by allowing them to serve their sentence in a more familiar environment, where they can have better access to visits by family and friends.

Minister of External Affairs Senator Petrus Compton and UK Foreign Office Minister Lord Triesman signed the agreement on April 27 in Barbados and it will come into effect as soon as both countries complete the legal and constitutional processes needed to bring it into law.

Resident British High Commissioner in Saint Lucia Kelvin Green said after it was announced that he was “pleased that the agreement is being put into place.”

“It is also a step forward in the humane treatment of offenders by allowing them to serve their sentences in their home country,” said Mr Green.

The agreement was announced one day after Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony met Baroness Patricia Scotland, Minister of State for Criminal Justice at the British Home Office, last Tuesday (May 2).

The Baroness called on Dr Anthony at the Office of the Prime Minister for discussions on issues of mutual security interests to Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom.

She discussed with the Prime Minister, among other things, a range of issues related to matters of Security, Justice, Law and Order, where the UK and Saint Lucia share a number of common problems and concerns.

While here, the Baroness also called on Attorney General Philip La Corbiniere.

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