Northern Ireland

Improvements at Hydebank Prison 'not enough'

Prison gate
Image caption The Criminal Justice Inspection said any improvements made were not sufficient

Further improvements in Hydebank Wood Women's Prison and the Young Offenders Centre cannot be made under the present regimes, it has been claimed.

The warning comes in newly published reports by the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.

The reports followed full inspections carried out in 2007.

There were 90 recommendations in respect of the Women's Prison and 100 for the Young Offenders Centre.

The inspection repeated calls for a separate and dedicated women's facility and to move boys from Hydebank to Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre.

'Some progress'

Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Dr Michael Maguire said both facilities needed a major overhaul and any improvements made were not sufficient.

"Staff at both facilities are to be commended for the efforts they have made to deliver improvements since our last inspections and indeed some progress has been made," he said.

"However, it is our considered view that further and substantial improvements in each facility are not possible in the current operating environments at both the Women's Prison and the Young Offenders Centre.

"The improvements are welcome, but they are no substitute for the overhaul required in both centres."

The inspections were unannounced and were carried out by the chief inspector of Criminal Justice Northern Ireland, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority and the Education and Training Inspectorate.

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