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Sinn Féin raise concerns over prison issues with Justice Minister

25 January, 2012 - by Jennifer McCann, Raymond McCartney, Seán Lynch

A Sinn Féin delegation of MLAs Raymond McCartney, Sean Lynch and Jennifer McCann met with Justice Minister David Ford today to discuss the on-going prison related issues.

Speaking following the meeting Vice-Chair of the Justice Committee Raymond McCartney said:

“We welcome the Minister’s commitment to finding a technological method to replace strip-searching as recommended by Anne Owens and the Prison Review Team

“The Minister said yesterday in the Assembly that significant progress had been made on finding an alternative and we welcome this but a sense of urgency needs to be applied to resolving this issue. The bottom line is that all prisoners need to be treated with dignity and respect.

“That dignity should also apply to prisoners seeking compassionate parole and we highlighted to the Minister the recent case where the prison administration refused compassionate parole for a prisoner to attend his father’s funeral.

“This is a step backwards. It was a case for compassion, something which was clearly missing from this decision.

“We also raised the cases of both Marian Price and Martin Corry who are being held following the revoking of their license by the British Secretary of State. This is unacceptable and they should be released immediately.

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