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Prison Ombudsman report disappointing - McCartney

24 June, 2015 - by Raymond McCartney

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has expressed his disappointment that complaints to the Prison Ombudsman have increased threefold in the past year.

 Mr. McCartney said,

 "Last year myself and party colleague Jennifer McCann met with Prisoner Ombudsman Tom McGonigle to discuss our growing concerns over the conditions in which prisoners are being held.

 “The main issues raised with Tom McGonigle were the proposed changes to visiting arrangements, strip searches, controlled movement and prisoners being held in isolation.

 “We made it clear that the regime in place does not lend itself to providing dignity and respect to all prisoners. 

 “This latest report highlights the lack of action that has been taken to resolve the issues raised and I am calling on the head of the Prison Service Sue McAllister to address the concerns highlighted in the report.

 “The agreement reached in 2010 must be implemented as the mechanism to improve the situation in the prison. 

 "Sinn Féin will continue in our efforts to have all these issues resolved to ensure that all prisoners can be treated with dignity and respect.”

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