Follow-up report into the treatment of Vulnerable Prisoners by the Northern Ireland Prison Service
FUTURE improvements in the treatment of vulnerable prisoners within the criminal justice system are unlikely unless there is a change in the attitudes and behaviours of some members of the Northern Ireland Prison Service.
Yet some encouraging progress has been made and steps have been taken to change the service’s treatment of vulnerable prisoners and this has been welcomed.
“Progress has been made in relation to the treatment of vulnerable prisoners and the Northern Ireland Prison Service has taken steps to address the deficiencies identified in previous reports,” said Dr Michael Maguire, chief inspector Criminal Justice Inspection. “In particular the implementation of Supporting Prisoners at Risk arrangements for the monitoring and management of vulnerable prisoners, while mixed in terms of delivery, represents an improvement on previous practice.
“In addition the provision of dedicated resources to the management of vulnerable prisoners and the opening of the Donard Centre at Maghaberry Prison are welcome developments.”
However he pointed out that improvements in healthcare provision across the prison estate, particularly in Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Maghaberry Prison were needed but progress was being undermined by the attitudes and behaviours of some staff, which is inconsistent with a therapeutic approach to prisoners in their care.Further progress is unlikely without changes of attitude and behaviour within the prison service.