Book review: Nicola Padfield, Dirk van Zyl Smit and Frieder Dunkel (Eds) Release from Prison: European Policy and Practice Willan Publishing, 2010, 460pp ISBN: 978-1-84392-741-9

  • Hindpal Singh Bhui (Inspection Team Leader, HM Inspectorate of Prisons (England and Wales),

In November 2008, the Council of Ministers of the European Union adopted a Framework Decision on custodial sentences, which national governments are required to implement by the end of 2011. Its objective is greater consistency between EU states dealing with the likely greater movement of EU prisoners across national jurisdictions who can now be repatriated without their consent. Historically, repatriation of prisoners has been difficult to achieve, partly because of the problems of reconciling the needs of each national bureaucracy, and partly because different rules applied across countries could lead to considerable unfairness, either to prisoners or victims: the former might be transferred to serve harsher sentences than they could reasonably have expected at the point of sentence, and the latter might see people who have offended against them treated with more leniency than expected.

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