Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Northern Ireland prisoner wins access to library

A prisoner has won a High Court case over being denied library services at a jail in Northern Ireland.

A judge ruled that staffing and resource issues do not free the authorities from their requirement to supply books.

Paul Morgan had sought a declaration that the Northern Ireland Prison Service unlawfully failed to provide library service in breach of its duty.

Morgan, who was sent to Magilligan Prison in July 2009 for an undisclosed offence, claimed facilities available to him and other inmates were poor or non-existent.

He stated in his judicial review application that prisoners have not been allowed to use a library based in the education department since last October.

Morgan's lawyers submitted that prisoners must be able to get books and use the library, if in keeping with security, under the Prison and Young Offender Centre Rules (NI) 1995.

In response, the Prison Service contended that conditions of use was at the discretion of the Governor.

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