Engagement key to comprehensive prison reform - Kearney
Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney said comprehensive prison reform should be at the heart of the political and policy framework for the Department of Justice and the Assembly.
Speaking in the Assembly today Mr Kearney said:
“While prison reform is ongoing, it’s neither completed nor comprehensive. Comprehensive prison reform should be at the heart of the political and policy framework for the Department of Justice and the Assembly.
“A prison reform-based approach should make maximum use of all the available resources to help progress this agenda.
“That means listening to the Prisons Ombudsman; working closely with the Probation Board; NIACRO; the Children’s Law Centre; by learning and being guided by penal reform experts; and, engaging other authoritative agencies.
“Importantly the process of prison reform should be set in context with the Fresh Start Agreement, and specifically the planned independent review as proposed by the panel on the Disbandment of Paramilitary Groups.
“Commitment to continuing and comprehensive prison reform based upon principles of human dignity, decency and respect must be paramount.
“Sinn Féin will work constructively with the Minister, other parties, and all agencies committed to positive change in Maghaberry, and in our other penal institutions.”