Hale disappointed at Maghaberry report

Local MLA Brenda Hale has described as disappointing, a damning report on Maghaberry Prison.

Inspectors who visited the prison in May found it in a ‘state of crisis,’ according to the report released last Thursday.

The joint report was compiled by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Prisons in England and Wales and Criminal Justice NI.

It is one of the most critical of any prison in the UK. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspectorate of Prisons in England and Wales, Nick Hardwick, said it was the most dangerous prison he had ever inspected.

Mrs Hale said, “I am extremely disappointed that the Department of Justice has allowed the situation at Maghaberry to deteriorate to this level. The most concerning fact to arise from this report is the complete collapse in officer moral leading to understandably high levels of absence.

“The Department of Justice and Minister David Ford have repeatedly refused to take responsibility for their failings in regard to Maghaberry Prison. They merely pass the buck to the prison management and try and scapegoat senior staff.

“How can the Minister expect the prison to improve when he starves it of resources? How can he expect consistent leadership from senior staff when the turnover in these positions is so high?”