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Anderson comments following prison death

5 August, 2010 - by Maeve McLaughlin


Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called for a full review after the death of a 19 year old man in custody in Hydebank Young offenders.

Speaking today Ms Anderson;

“Firstly our thoughts are with the family of this man following their tragic loss.

In terms of international human rights standards as applied to advanced democratic states the Prison Service here is in serious crisis.

Despite there being 10 suicides over eight years, a history of alcoholism within the jails, a severe lack of care and a culture of apathy from staff towards reform there remains an urgent need for the review of accountability mechanisms.

Failings within the prison system, including at Hydebank have been consistently exposed and highlighted by several, knowledgeable agencies including the Coroners service, by Prison Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission, the Criminal Justice Inspectorate, and the Independent Monitoring Board, yet recommendations remain mostly unimplemented, warnings ignored and vulnerable prisoners die as a result.

This latest tragedy must act as an urgent catalyst for the new Justice Minister to act on Prison reform.” CRÍOCH

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