The United States has treaties with many countries which provide for the international transfer of prisoners. If you are a citizen of a country that has such a treaty, and you are serving time in a U.S. prison, you may be eligible for transfer to your home country for the remainder of your sentence.
Applications for transfer must be approved both by the state where you are incarcerated and by the U.S. Department of Justice. Then the application is forwarded to the your home country, which will decide if it wants to receive you.
The primary reason that international prisoner transfer treaties exist is that, in many cases, the prisoner has a better chance of rehabilitation and reintegration into society in his or her home country. Because of this, many factors that go into determining prisoners' eligibility for transfer have to do with the chances that transfer will help their rehabilitation.
One factor the government considers when evaluating a prisoner's transfer application, is acceptance of responsibility, which can be shown through cooperating with authorities, being honest about one's participation in the crime, and, sometimes, entering a guilty plea.
Another factor is the prisoner's criminal history. The government wants to evaluate the likelihood that the prisoner will commit other crimes. A first-time, low-level offender is viewed very differently from a mafia boss. The government will also likely fail to approve a transfer application if the prisoner has criminal connections in his home country -- sending him back will only help him commit more crimes, instead of rehabilitating him.
The seriousness of the offense is also taken into consideration, as well as the chances of the prisoner serving a shorter or easier sentence in the receiving country.
The government also looks at the prisoner's family ties. If the prisoner has close family in the receiving country, this could help his rehabilitation; on the other hand, if his close family is in the U.S., it is likely that he will return there once his sentence is served, so a transfer makes no sense.
Sometimes, an otherwise ineligible prisoner may be approved for transfer due to humanitarian reasons, such as terminal illness of the prisoner or a close family member.
International prison exchanges require a thorough understanding of the policies adopted by various United States agencies and the interactions between these agencies. The United States Department of Justice and the State Department are certainly amongs the prime decision makers in this area. Generally speaking, in the United States there is a presumption against granting the prisoner exchanges as it is believed that the person should be serving time where the criminal offense took place. Although not an easy task, it is certainly achievable when the attorney handling the request has the necessary experience and knowledge if the process. At our office you will find such attorneys. We have successfully handled similar matters before. To learn more about how Joseph Potashnik & Associates PC can address your questions about international prisoner transfer, call us at (212) 577-6677.