Criminal Justice Inspection welcomes Prison Review Final Report

CRIMINAL Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) has today (Monday 24th October 2011) welcomed the Final Report by the Prison Review Team, chaired by Dame Anne Owers, which provides a blueprint for moving towards a ‘safer society’.

Dr Michael Maguire, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland said: “This is an honest and forward thinking assessment of the issues and challenges facing the Northern Ireland Prison Service. Dame Anne Owers and the Prison Review Team are to be congratulated.
“This report shows that what is required is transformation of the way in which the prison service works – people, working practices and prison regime.
“Furthermore the analysis is right that change management by stealth or incremental change is not possible. As our inspection reports have shown there is a need to fix directly and up front those issues which are undermining the reform agenda in order to achieve real benefit.
“The purpose of reform is to make communities safer and the costs of failure are high for us all. 
“As the Owers report clearly states we cannot continue with a prison system that is wasteful of money and fails to deliver a ‘safer society’. The recommendations in this report represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a prison service that can play a leading role in making communities safer.”