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Change Champions needed to progress prison reform - Kearney

28 October, 2016 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney has said Sinn Féin is committed to seeing positive prison reform in the north. 

Mr Kearney said; 

"Comprehensive prison reform should be at the heart of the political and policy framework for the Department of Justice and the Assembly.

"There is significant political and institutional resistance to change within the North’s prison system.

"For that reason, the ‘Change Champions’ within the local Prison Service must be politically supported by the Department of Justice and the Assembly.

"Sinn Féin will work constructively with the Justice Minister, other parties, and agencies committed to positive change in Maghaberry and in our other penal institutions.

"Our focus should be on making Maghaberry a stable, stress-free and safe environment for all staff, prisoners and those who visit the prison.

"Progress has already been made as we saw this week with the Criminal Justice Inspectorate's report into Hydebank Wood. 

"A similar change agenda is required in Maghaberry and the Department of Justice must be accountable for delivering this under the leadership of the Justice Minister.

" ‘Change Champions’ committed to prison reform within and outside the Prison Service are essential to helping take this agenda forward."

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