Prisoner Ombudsman comments on Final Report on the Review of the Northern Ireland Prison Service

Published on October 24 2010

The Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland Mrs Pauline McCabe has today commented on the report by the Prison Review Team led by Dame Anne Owers, she said:

“This robust report along with the interim report published in February, comprehensively sets out the need for Prison reform and details the changes that must be made and the need for urgency. In doing so it addresses important issues set out in complaint and death in custody investigation reports produced by my office”.

“I congratulate Dame Anne and her team on the work they have undertaken. The Owers’ review has now delivered a report which must be recognised as the complete package and implemented in full”.

“The report cannot be viewed as a wish list that can be cherry picked. The prison system is complex and government agencies and departments from justice, to health and employment and learning need to sign up to the change programme. Action is also required to implement alternatives to prison for fine default, to replace short custodial sentences with community sentences and to reduce the time that prisoners are held on remand”.

“I completely support Dame Anne’s conclusion that nothing short of a fully integrated approach with cross party support will deliver the solutions required to create a safer society in Northern Ireland and to ensure a more efficient use of public money”