Urgent reform of prison system needed


We have some very serious and systemic problems in our prison system’

‘The latest death of an inmate at Maghaberry Prison further heightens concerns about the fitness of our prison regime and the way in which duty of care is approached’,  Workers Party representative Gemma Weir has said.

Her comments come in the wake of a yet another death in custody and a  series of incidents at the prison one of which involved a prisoner blinding and self harming himself will under observation by prison staff.

‘ We have some very serious and systemic problems in our prison system’, Ms Weir said. ‘This has to be the top of the Minister for Justice’s agenda and a comprehensive, all-inclusive and far-reaching action plan must be forthcoming within  weeks: not months or years’, she said

‘Prisoners in the care of society  are inflicting harm upon themselves and in several cases taking their own lives. This is not a time for pious platitudes, it is a time for a root and branch examination of the entire prison system with a view to making it safe, effective and accountable’ she said.

I extend my sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased and am calling for an immediate and incisive response from the Justice Minister’, Gemma concluded.

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