NI: Progress made on Maghaberry but work still to be done

NI: Progress made on Maghaberry but work still to be done

Progress has been made in improving the conditions in Maghaberry Prison since a damning report said it was in a “state of crisis”, but a “significant amount of work” is still to be done, a report has found.

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJNI) revisited Maghaberry seven months after the visit that identified the high security prison as “unsafe and unstable” for staff and prisoners.

The report commends the “urgent action taken to date making a start in addressing our concerns”.

Justice Minister David Ford said he did not “underestimate the challenges which remain but I welcome this independent verification that progress has been made”.

Prison Service Director General Sue McAllister added: “Since the last inspection the Prison Service has taken actions to improve the immediate performance of Maghaberry as well as putting in place a longer term plan to ensure the prison is delivering better outcomes for prisoners.

“Significant work has been taken forward so that resources are in place and focussed upon delivering a predictable and effective regime for prisoners and a safer environment for everyone at the prison.

“Today’s report states the prison has stabilised and progress has been made across a range of areas. This is welcome. However we agree these are early days - that progress must be built upon and continue.”

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