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David Ford should not pre-empt Prison Review – McCartney

15 September, 2010 - by Raymond McCartney

Deputy Chair of the Justice Committee Raymond McCartney has cautioned Justice Minister David Ford against pre-empting any findings from the ongoing review into prisons here.

Speaking after Mr Ford ruled out a ‘Patten style’ reform of the Prison Service following the publication of the Billy Wright Inquiry yesterday, Mr McCartney said;

“The first part of the Prison Review Panel’s brief is specifically looking at the situation in Maghaberry; what is clear is that the entire Prison System in the north needs a radical overhaul.

The Justice Minister is premature when he rules out any measures before the panel have published their findings. David Ford would do well to firstly listen to whatever recommendations emerge as well as the views of the various parties and stakeholders in the round.

Sinn Féin is to meet the Review Panel this Friday and we will putting directly to them our concern around the number of reports that have found major failings and issues of concern within prisons in the north; as well as this we will be stressing our serious concerns around the combative culture of the Prison Officers Association and their role within Prisons here.” CRÍOCH

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