30/11/2016

Inmate Found Dead In Cell At Maghaberry Prison

An inmate, who was on remand, has been found dead in a cell at Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn.

An investigation has been launched into the death of the 34-year-old man, according to the Department of Justice.

His next of kin have been informed.

This is the third death at the prison this month.

Acting Prison Service Director General Phil Wragg said: "I would like to extend my sympathy and that of the Northern Ireland Prison Service to the family of the prisoner. My thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

Ulster Unionist Justice spokeperson Doug Beattie said there is a crisis within the prison service and is calling for staffing levels to be increased immediately.
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He said: "First of all our sympathies must go to the family of the prisoner who has been found dead in his cell at Maghaberry. Whatever the exact circumstance was, it is simply not acceptable that people who are incarcerated within a state institution are dying on such a regular basis.

"I repeat what I have said before; there is a crisis in our prison service which deserves the full attention of the Executive, the Minister for Justice, and prison management. There is an immediate need to increase staffing levels to a safe standard and instigate safety measures requested by HMP Maghaberry Prison Officer Association when they met with the FM on 10 October 2016.

"How many more prisoners have to lose their lives before our Executive realises there is a real crisis within our prisons and our Prison Service that will not go away until decisive and strategic action is taken."

(CD)

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