26/09/2018

Prisoner Complaints Drop By 55%

The number of complaints from prisoners at Northern Ireland's three main jails more than halved in the past year, according to new figures.

The Prison Ombudsman's office received 1,953 complaints, a 55% decrease on last year.

However all but 167 of the complaints were from separated prisoners on Roe 3 and 4 landings at Maghaberry prison.
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Brendan McGuigan the Interim Prisoner Ombudsman said: "The independent investigation of complaints by the Office of the Prisoner Ombudsman can help instil in prisoners, greater confidence that their welfare is treated seriously. It can also help reduce tension and promote better relations. My staff are dedicated to the impartial and independent investigation of prisoner complaints and I would like to acknowledge the contribution of everyone in my office and the continued cooperation received from the agencies with whom we work."

He also expressed disappointment that the process for placing the Prisoner Ombudsman's office on a statutory footing, while it had progressed through the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Justice (No 2) Bill had received royal assent in May 2016, the underpinning Regulations could not be completed before dissolution of the Assembly on 26 January 2017.

(CD)

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