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Fourth report this year slams conditions at Maghaberry

21 July, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin


Sinn Féin MLA and spokesperson on Human Rights Martina Anderson has stated that the publication of a report into Maghaberry prison today is the fourth report this year to focus on the need for a serious overhaul of practices and conditions at the prison.

Speaking today Ms Anderson said:

“Successive reports have been published this year have highlighted the need for a radical overhaul of the systems and procedures in place at Maghaberry prison. This latest report points out 200 recommendations and taken with earlier reports made this year the number of recommendations add up significantly.

“The fact that Maghaberry is ranked as one of only three prisons out of 169 inspected to fail in safety and that it failed in all four of the internationally recognised tests for prisoner welfare is a damning indictment.

“If we have this many reports pointing to systematic problems within the prison action needs to be taken immediately. Clearly something is seriously wrong and root and branch surgery needs to begin. Each and every one of these reports have pointed to a culture of inadequate service provision or non-compliance with human rights norms and poor conditions within our prison service.

“In all these findings clearly highlight the need for a radical overhaul of the Prison Service. Currently this is the gift of Paul Goggins and there is an onus on him to begin such an overhaul immediately given the seriousness of the situation and the findings of four separate reports this year alone.”

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