Sinn Fein MLAs visit prisons to assess conditions

Thu, 08/12/2011 - 19:22 -- Editor

Sinn Féin MLA’s, Raymond McCartney and Jennifer McCann today visited Hydebank Young Offenders Center and Women’s Prison as well as Maghaberry Prison yesterday in their efforts to address ongoing concerns about conditions.

Following the visits, Raymond McCartney MLA Sinn Féin Justice Committee vice-Chair reiterated the party’s call for the Prison Service to implement all of the recommendations of August 2010 to resolve the continuing problems in the Prisons.

Speaking afterwards Mr McCartney said: "It is incumbent on the Prison Service to honour the agreement reached in August 2010 in spirit and practice. The failure to implement the recommendations on the agreement only serves to exacerbate already existing tensions which serves no purpose.

Jennifer Mc Cann added:“During our visit to Maghaberry we met with Prisoners in Roe House and listened intently to their accounts of conditions and Prison Service practice. It will be to every ones benefit – Prisoners and Prison Staff - that the ongoing concerns are addressed and done without any further delay.

“The situation in the prison is tense and there is real need for the prison administration to move on this issue. All prisoners need to be treated with dignity and respect.”