Investigation Report into Roe House

Published on June 11 2010

The Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland today published her investigation into a complaint from a prisoner about being locked down for 23 hours a day in the separated accommodation in Roe House, Maghaberry Prison.

Having received a number of complaints from prisoners in Roe House in relation to the current regime and issues in the separated accommodation, Pauline McCabe progressed her investigation as being representative of the common issues.

Mrs McCabe said: “Many of the issues and concerns detailed in my report were raised across a number of complaints, so it was decided to use Prisoner C’s complaint to produce an early investigation report. Some of the other complaints raise specific issues about specific events and the investigations into these matters will continue.

“As a result of my investigation at Roe House I felt that there were a number of issues that needed to be addressed and I have therefore made 16 Recommendations to the NI Prison Service.”

The Prisoner Ombudsman also met with prisoners in Bush House, to make them aware that the recommendations would also apply to them. She also discussed the content of the report with the Prison Officers’ Association.

The report is available on the Prisoner Ombudsman’s website at

Further media inquiries should be directed to Janet Devlin or Vicki Caddy at ASG on 028 90 80 2000 or by email to or

Notes to editors:

The Prisoner Ombudsman terms of reference (found at
The Prisoner Ombudsman is appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and is independent of the NI Prison Service.
The Prisoner Ombudsman will investigate complaints submitted by individual prisoners and former prisoners. To be eligible, complaints must first have been taken through the Prison Service Internal Complaints Procedure.