Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA – Transfer of Prisoners

Overview

The EuroPris Expert Group on the transfer of foreign national prisoners under EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA was established in 2012. The group has addressed issues regarding implementation of and seeks to examine lessons that could be learned through shared exchange of information.  Over the years, the Expert Group has convened in different formations and sought to share the recommendations of best practice amongst other EuroPris members.

In 2015, with thanks to additional support from the European Commission, we extended the invitation to be part of the 2015 Expert Group to all Member States, including countries who are non-EuroPris members.

Resources

  • Access Resources Book – Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners that brings together practical recommendations, best practice and resources developed to assist with the transfer of sentenced prisoners.
  • Access the most up to date information on the status of EU Framework Decisions 909;  947829.
  • Access information and contact details for Competent Authorities under the Framework Decision 909 via EJN Judicial Atlas. Choose the country and select 903 for Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 904 for Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA and 905 for Framework Decision 2009/829/JHA.
  • Prisoner information sheets developed by the EuroPris FD909 expert group
  • Previous meeting reports of the EuroPris FD909 expert group – 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Information form to accompany prisoner transfer, developed by the EuroPris FD909 expert group
  • Access the e-learning platform developed under the STEPS2 Resettlement project for authorities responsible for the decision making regarding the transfer of the execution of custodial sentences
  • Information booklet for prisoners transferring under Framework Decision 909, developed under the STEPS2 Resettlement project
  • Summary information regarding transfer process under Framework Decision 909, developed under the STEPS2 Resettlement project

Recent Activity

Update 7th June 2017

The 2017 expert group meeting was held on 24 & 25 April at the Belgian Prison Service Headquarters in Brussels. 28 experts joined the meeting on Day 1 chaired by Graham Wilkinson (England & Wales) and Katja Đogović (Finland). All EU Member States were invited (22 were represented) along with experts from 3 countries (Albania, Norway and Turkey) who complete transfers under the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentence Prisoners. The morning consisted of world café discussion tables with experts engaging in lively exchange of best practice and issues pertaining to transfer of foreign nationals. In the afternoon, the group discussed proposed amendments to Additional Protocol and received an update on e-CODEX from Ernst Steigenga. On Day 2, experts from EU Member States provided feedback to Jesca Beneder of the European Commission on the Draft Legal Handbook to accompany Framework Decision 909 that is in development, expected to be published in 2018.

A full report of the meeting is available here.


Update 13th May 2016

On 09 and 10 May 2016, EuroPris and the European Commission jointly hosted the expert group for the transfer of sentenced prisoners under Framework Decision 909. Building on the previous EuroPris expert group meetings on the subject, all Member States were invited to attend for an EU-wide discussion on common issues, processes and practices in using the Framework Decision. In total 24 Member States were represented.

EuroPris chaired the first day and the agenda included small group discussions between Member States focusing on experiences of working with one another as issuing/receiving state; overcoming practical problems; producing information sheets on prison processes within each country; and, how Member States and Competent Authorities might use the European Prison Information System (EPIS) hosted by EuroPris to access and exchange information.

The meeting on 10 May was hosted by the European Commission at the Albert Borschette Conference Center and chaired by Olivier Tell – Head of B1, Directorate-General for Justice. Topics discussed included the recent ECJ judgement on detention conditions, time limits, as well as, documents and communications required to enable transfer. Presentations were given by Michael Meysman, University of Ghent on the Framework Decision 909 Handbook that the EC are drafting, Graham Wilkinson, National Offender Management Service (England & Wales) on the STEPS 2 Resettlement project and Jonas Grimheden, Fundamental Rights Agency. Jonas Grimheden’s presentation on ‘Detention: information, rehabilitation and victims’ rights’ is available here.

Full reports of both meetings are published here.

EuroPris is also working on updating the FD 909 Expert Group pages to enable the country information sheets to be easily accessible.


Update 15th November 2015

FD909In September 2015, EuroPris hosted the second of the 2015 expert working groups on EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA. The first meeting was held on 6/7 July in Brussels and was attended by representatives from 13 countries. This second meeting took place in The Hague and was attended by participants from a further 11 countries. At the end of September 2015, 25 Member States had implemented the Framework Decision 909.

For the 2015 expert group meetings, EuroPris invited experts from countries that are members of EuroPris, as well as non-member countries so to broaden the discussion between Member States. This enabled experts from countries who have recently implemented, the opportunity to meet and discuss prisoner transfers with their counterparts who have experience of using the Framework Decision – some of whom had attended previous working groups.

The agenda was the same as for the July meeting and discussions ranged from completion of the certificate to practical transfer arrangements, prison conditions and legal challenges. Given the close alignment between STEPS2 Resettlement and the discussion points for the expert group, representatives were invited to update on the progress of development of the Offender Handbook, Victims Issues and Data Transfer elements of the project. Olga de Vries presented the e-learning to 9 participants prior to the meeting, and gained valuable feedback on the e-learning programme that has been developed as a training tool for practitioners on the transfer process.

Following a presentation by Wendy de Bondt from Ghent University, the experts engaged in a detailed conversation regarding data exchanges between competent authorities. This provided useful insights for the project staff on the use of transferring information relevant to risk and information necessary for the transfer. As an aide, experts also agreed to utilise the Prisoner Information Document, developed by EuroPris to consider information needed for the practical transfer arrangements.

The experts also gave valuable feedback to the work led by NOMS for information documents that are being developed for prisoners, to inform them of the transfer process.

With agreement from the experts, EuroPris are going to collate statistics on the use of the Framework Decision and numbers of EU national prisoners held in each Member State. This is the first time this information will be centrally gathered and will be useful for facilitating further discussions on the process and identifying working relationships between the Member States who have high proportions of foreign national prisoners.

Click here to read the final report of the 2015 expert group meetings.


Update 15th July 2015:

July 2015 008Since 2012, EuroPris has been exploring the impact of the transfer of prisoners under the EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA  and supported the EuroPris members administrations by sharing the challenges and obstacles in implementing the legislation and in undertaking practical transfers. As the implementation deadline passed at the end of 2014 EuroPris decided to invite in 2015 experts from the central authorities of all 28 EU Member States. The first meeting with representatives from 13 countries took place in Brussels on 6 & 7 July.  The meeting focused on legal challenges and obtaining of prisoners consent, on completion of the transfer certificates and timing, on practical transfer arrangements, sentence adaptation, prison conditions, on the use of FD 909 in conjunction with the EAW, on early release schemes and collection of transfer data and of numbers of detainees from the different European countries.

The STEPS 2 Resettlement project, as cooperation of England & Wales, Spain, Romania, Italy and Belgium  is dealing with practical transfer problems, with information exchange – what kind of information is needed and how can it be digitally transferred, with victims issues, social rehabilitation practices and with training for judges/prosecutors/competent authorities, all in relation to this Framework Decision. Since this project is so much related to the work of this expert group we used the opportunity to link both of them. Before the start of the meeting an e-learning module on how to complete the transfer certificate and all related issues was tested by participants from 8 countries. During the meeting NOMS presented the development of the offender handbook consisting of general FD 909 information and a template for country specific information. The university of Ghent shared their work on the collection and transfer of data. Also the EC e-CODEX project that will start piloting digital exchange of FD 909 related data between EU MS  later this year was introduced.

The second meeting on this subject with representatives of the other EU Member States will take place on 28/29 September in The Hague. After that a comprehensive report of the discussions will be shared with the participants and in the EuroPris newsletter and on our website.

Click here to read the final report of the 2015 expert group meetings.


Since 2012, EuroPris has been exploring the impact of the transfer of prisoners under FD 2008/909/JHA to examine the challenges and obstacles in implementing the legislation and undertaking practical transfers as well as the subsequent lessons learnt. EuroPris has already and will continue to provide recommendations on how to progress, how Member States’ implementation can be supported and importantly, how the organisation aims to support the European Commission in speeding up the process of implementation.

EuroPris have published a report detailing conclusions and recommendations from an expert group comprising members of European jurisdictions with regards to the exchange of prisoners under the Framework Decision 909.

Click here to download the report.


The EuroPris expert group on the Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA – Transfer of prisoners met in Brussels on 23rd and 24th September 2014 to discuss matters relating to the effective transfer of prisoners under this FD. The group were hosted by EuroPris at their office in the headquarters of the Belgium Prison Service. This is the third meeting of this group in relation to the FD 909.The workshop was attended by representatives from seven Member States that had either already transposed this Framework Decision or were going through the process to complete its introduction into their law. The meeting was also attended by the policy lead from the European Commission.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss the practicalities of using this Framework Decision and transferring prisoners from one jurisdiction to another. Topics under discussion included: the state of play with regards to the implementation of the FD by the Member States present and an update from across the European Union.

The full report can be downloaded here.


In February 2014 Olivier Tell provided a report from the European Commission on the implementation of Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA, and 2009/829/JHA. Click here to download the report.

A working document for staff has also been produced to help provide guidance and an overview of the State of Play. A press release was also issued to European states outlining the importance of implementation of the Framework Decisions.


On 13th November 2013 a meeting with EU Member States’ experts on the implementation of the Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA (Transfer of Prisoners), 2008/947/JHA (Probation and Alternative Sanctions) and 2009/829/JHA (European Supervision Order) was held in Brussels and was well attended by Member States representatives. It was an opportunity for them to report on the ‘state of play’ with regard to implementation of the Framework decision into law. EuroPris was present and reported on the recent 909 expert group. A report was published on the findings and discussion.

Click here to access the report from the meeting.


On 29th aFDexpertgroupmeeting_Brussels_2930082013nd 30th August 2013 this EuroPris expert group met in Brussels to discuss a number of topics surrounding the implementation of the FD 909 on the Transfer of Prisoners. The workshop was attended by representatives from 5 Member States that had already transposed this Framework Decision and a representative from the European Commission. The Group recognised that it was still early days in terms of the implementation of the Framework Decision although most experts now had experience of transferring prisoners both into and out of their countries. Based on this experience, the experts made a number of recommendations intended to help improve the process for both prisoners and those officials involved in the transfer process. These recommendations focus largely, although not exclusively, on the provision of information.

To view these recommendations click here.

To access an information form to accompany prisoners on inter-jurisdictional transfer click here.

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