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Call to rethink Hydebank option for female prisoners

18 June, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Human Rights issues Caitriona Ruane has added her voice to those calling for plans to relocate female prisoners from Maghaberry to Hydebank Young Offenders Centre to be stopped.

Ms Ruane said:

" Plans to move female prisoners from Mourne House in Maghaberry to a facility at Hydebank Young Offenders Centre are we believe at an advanced stage. For some time now the separate medical and educational facilities at Maghaberry have been closed to the female prison population and they have been forced to share these services with male inmates.

" The plans to relocate the female wing to Hydebank do not appear to have been properly thought out. Cells there do not have toilets or wash hand basins and there will be no separate medical provision for the women held there. The cells in Maghaberry currently do have these provisions.

" There is a growing feeling that it would be much better to reopen the educational and medical facilities at Maghaberry and bring that section of the prison under separate management structures. I would call upon the NIO to look seriously at this option before proceeding with the plan to move the women prisoners into the Hydebank facility." ENDS

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