The international transfer of offenders: a critical perspective on the transfer process

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Dyson, Guadalupe Consuelo
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University of Guelph

This study was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of International Transfer Treaties and the European Convention in meeting their goal of returning offenders to their home land, where closeness to family roots, friends, language, culture and their community would facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration to society. The Transfer Treaty between Canada and USA, and also the European Convention, provide regulations for the international transfer of prisoners, data indicate that only a meagre number of prisoners are being returned to Canada. A qualitative analysis of several case histories was conducted to examine prisoners' personal experiences of the transfer process. An examination of these treaties was performed, which shows that this legislation is fraught with built in ambiguities that allow for arbitrariness and unfettered discretion. This thesis argues that the international transfer hindrances observed stem from defective legal transfer regulations, from complicated and obstructive policies, and the want of an enforcement mechanism aimed at facilitating its implementation. It further contends that even though Canada and USA were willing to sign into such Transfer Treaty, both showed absolute lack of concern and interest in its effectiveness as can be demonstrated by their total neglect to take action.

International Transfer Treaties, European Convention, offenders, home land, rehabilitation, reintegration