Safety of prisoners still high priority for Inspectorate

Outgoing CJI Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan has highlighted the importance and challenges of ensuring prisoner safety in Northern Ireland.
Mr McGuigan said he was frustrated more had not been done to address recommendations for improvement made five years ago as he published the latest joint inspection report by CJI and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority on the safety of prisoners held by the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS).

“Maintaining the safety of prisoners is a challenge and it remains one of the greatest areas of risk for the NIPS,” said Mr McGuigan.

“While I welcome the improvements made at an operational level, difficulties at a strategic level between the NIPS and the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) the NIPS have contributed to the slow pace of progress.

“It is essential that the NIPS and SEHSCT continue to develop their partnership working, identify those really vulnerable prisoners committed to their care and work to address the underlying cause of their vulnerability,” he said reiterating once again, that prison did not offer a therapeutic environment for vulnerable individuals.