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Justice Committee vice-Chair comments following prison death

15 June, 2011 - by Raymond McCartney


Justice Committee vice-Chair, Raymond McCartney MLA (Foyle) has called for immediate action on the flaws in prison administration identified in the Ombudsman’s report on the death of a 19 year old man in custody in Hydebank Young Offenders Centre.


Commenting on the Ombudsman’s Report Raymond McCartney said;


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


“The Ombudsman’s Report states that the Prison Administration needs to address the flaws in the system immediately.


“Failings within the prison system, including at Hydebank have been consistently exposed and highlighted by several, knowledgeable agencies including previous Prison Ombudsman’s Reports, the Coroners service, 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 Justice Minister to expedite Prison reform.”


“The Owers Preliminary Report points the way to deal with these sensitive issues and once completed its recommendations must be implemented as a matter of urgency. As I have said the failings in our Prison system have been highlighted by a number of reputable agencies and the last thing we need is another Report that is not acted upon.


“Sectional interests must not be allowed to prevent the radical change that is clearly needed in the Prison system.”

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