West Belfast MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has called for more to be done to ensure the needs of women prisoners and their families are meet.
Speaking at an event focusing on the impact of imprisonment on families this morning Ms McCann said:
"The Anne Owers Report on Prison Reform which was published two years ago made a number of recommendations in relation to Ash House were women prisoners are currently held.
“Earlier this month a CJNI report found significant failings at the prison, This together with other research which indicates the disproportionate adverse impact on children of women prisoners illustrates the need for support for prisoners families.
“Women prisoners make up a very small part of the overall prison population and share education and visit facilities with Young Offenders at Hydebank. This results in those facilities being limited to certain times which directly effects both them and their families.
“More needs to be done in conjunction with organisations from the Community and Voluntary section to ensure the health and well being needs of women prisoners and their families are met."