12/05/2009

Prison Authorities Set "Challenging Targets"

The way in which female prisoners are treated in Northern Ireland is among the issues being targeted in a new prison management plan.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service has just published its Corporate Plan for 2009-2012 and associated Business Plan.

They set out the priorities, key performance targets and development objectives for the coming financial year and details the assumptions about workloads and resources which will inform the key activity areas over the next three years.

Also included in the plan is an overview and update on "progress so far" on the Service's Strategic Development Programme.
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Announcing publication of the Corporate and Business Plan, which was laid before Parliament on Monday, Prisons' Minister Paul Goggins said: ''I have set the Prison Service a number of challenging targets as it continues its comprehensive process of change and modernisation against the background of a rising prison population and the new sentencing framework.

"One of my priorities is improving the treatment of women offenders and the Prison Service is making a major contribution to work in this area," he said, commenting that progress continues to be made in developing services to address the needs of the female prison population.

"I am confident that through the continued dedication and commitment of staff, the Prison Service can press on with and meet its major development objectives," Mr Goggins said.

Commenting on the publication Robin Masefield, Director of the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: "The Prison Service must continue to become more efficient at a time of tighter public expenditure.

"It is against this backdrop that we must strive to deliver a regime which clearly fulfils our vision to be regarded as a model of good practice in dealing with prisoners and to be valued and respected for our service to the community."

(BMcC/JM)

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