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Sinn Féin raise justice priorities with Minister and Officials

1 December, 2016 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin MLAs on the Justice Committee Declan Kearney, Michaela Boyle and Pat Sheehan today raised a number of key issues with the Justice Minister and senior departmental officials.

These included prison conditions and wider reform; domestic violence; abuse; stalking policy and legacy related issues, including the Lord Chief Justice Reforms.

The Party’s Northern Justice Spokesperson, Declan Kearney said:

“I emphasised it was essential that the incoming Director General of the Prison Service must be a ‘change champion’ to promote modernization and prison reform. This is especially important in regard to recent deaths, vulnerable prisoners, nutritional diet and in light of the concluding remarks of the latest Criminal Justice Inspection Report.

“We highlighted the dehumanising repercussions of ongoing controlled movement and strip searching and the legal implications relating to privacy. 

“We reiterated our party’s priority to progress legislation on domestic violence, domestic abuse and stalking. The Minister confirmed that proposed legislation on all these issues will be tabled in 2017.

“We praised the importance of the Lord Chief Justice’s reforms. Officials agreed with us that capacity and resource of the coroner’s courts needed to be properly resolved.

“The Sinn Féin representatives and Justice Minister agreed that the accountability mechanisms especially the Ombudsman must be financially supported in this work going forward.

“The Sinn Féin Justice Committee team will stay closely engaged with the Minister and Department of Justice senior management to continue making progress on all of these priorities.” 

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