NI: Justice and Health Ministers in joint visit to Hydebank Wood

Justice Minister Claire Sugden
Justice Minister Claire Sugden

Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister Claire Sugden and Health Minister Michelle O’Neill today visited Hydebank Wood College to discuss health issues in prisons.

Hydebank Wood accommodates male young offenders and all women prisoners who are committed to custody by the courts.

It has operated as a secure college since last year.

The ministers were accompanied by Sue McAllister, outgoing director general of the Prison Service, and Richard Taylor, governor of the college, on their visit, during which they met prison staff, students and healthcare professionals.

Speaking after the visit, Ms Sugden said: “At any given time up to a quarter of the prison population will have serious mental health issues and our Departments will continue to work together to ensure we meet the needs of those in our care.

“I appreciate the great work done by our prison staff who work with some very challenging people every day to keep them safe and support their rehabilitation. By addressing mental health issues in prison, both the Prison Service and our partners in health play an important role in building a safer community.”

Ms O’Neill added: “My Department is committed to working together with our justice colleagues to ensure that the people who come into our prison system receive the high standard of health and well-being we are all entitled to.

“I’m happy to be here today to see for myself the good work that has been recognised in various awards to healthcare staff and justice colleagues working collaboratively for the benefit of the students in Hydebank Wood College.”

Share icon
Share this article: