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Historical Background

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Chapter Summary

Prison authorities of sentencing countries look to prisoner transfer treaties as a means of alleviating problems associated with the rapidly growing number of foreign nationals being convicted in their courts. The first formal precedent providing for the international transfer of prisoners was the enactment, during the 1960s, of parallel legislation in the five Nordic countries providing for the enforcement in one country of criminal judgments emanating from any of the other four. The success of the Council of Europe Convention led to the negotiation in the Organization of American States of the Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad. United States immigration laws, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, effectively mandate the expulsion or deportation of the great majority of foreign nationals convicted of felonies in the country.

Keywords: Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act; Council of Europe Convention; foreign prisoners; prisoner transfer treaties; United States immigration laws



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