Maghaberry staff praised at international conference

Director general''of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour. Pic: Michael Cooper
Director general''of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour. Pic: Michael Cooper

The staff of Maghaberry Prison have received an excellence award from the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) at their annual conference in Buenos Aires.

The award recognises the Co Antrim prison’s “outstanding programmes which contribute to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community”.

Presenting the award to NI Prison Service director general Ronnie Armour, and Maghaberry Governor Dave Kennedy, ICPA President Peter Severin said: “The commitment shown by staff at Maghaberry in transforming the prison from one of the most dangerous in Europe to an establishment that is delivering high quality outcomes for the men imprisoned there is both remarkable and exemplary. This was achieved in an impressive timescale and was delivered with ever reducing financial resources.”

Accepting the award on behalf of the staff, Mr Armour said: “The staff at Maghaberry deserve the recognition they received and I want to congratulate everyone who works there on what was an amazing achievement. It is always to be welcomed when inspectors make positive reports, but it is something really special when your peers, having assessed what is happening around the world, acknowledge what you have achieved.

“Everyone across the Northern Ireland Prison Service, our staff and partners, should be very proud because while the award was for the staff at Maghaberry, it also recognises how far we have come as a service and acknowledges the work we are doing to challenge and support those in our care.”