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Root and branch reform of Prison Service required – McCartney

28 June, 2011 - by Raymond McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle and deputy Chair of the Assembly Justice Committee, Raymond McCartney has called for an immediate root and branch reform of the Prison Service here.

Commenting following news of the latest incidence of a Prisoner being released by mistake Raymond McCartney said;

“What is clear from this latest mistaken release is that there is a deficit of accountability, governance and management performance within the prison system. Fundamental to this deficit is the corrosive relationship between the prison management and the Prison Officers Association (POA) which is preventing a comprehensive overhaul of prison procedures.

“One thing that has been abundantly clear for a considerable amount of time is the systematic problems that directly derive from the anti-change culture operating within the POA. That culture of opposition to reform of the system and procedures must be tackled head on and it must be brought to an immediate end. 

“This is yet another in a litany of failures in the system here; while it won’t come as a surprise to many, it must now act as a catalyst for the Justice Minister to take action to ensure that a much needed root and branch reform of both culture and procedures is carried out within the Prison System without further delay.”

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