Belfast Telegraph

Report reveals NI prison shame

Inspectors have lambasted poor hygiene standards at a Northern Ireland prison.

Some inmates at Magilligan jail still face "slopping-out" - emptying buckets of human waste - because of the failure of an electronic system, while the general environment has too many oppressive fences and badly planned buildings, the Criminal Justice Inspectorate (CJI) said.

But the report also noted that much progress had been at the Co Londonderry prison. It praised the opening of new residential and healthcare units, adding that the number of violent incidents had fallen and safety had been improved.

Most of the interior residential areas were very clean and prisoners had good access to showers and laundries, the CJI said.

The inspectors also welcomed the satisfactory quality of education, skills and work opportunities for prisoners.

Despite this, the report added: "The external environment remained poor. There was some good standard new accommodation, but house blocks were still unsatisfactory, with unacceptable sanitation arrangements."

"The poor design hampered movement and the lack of cover for getting around a large site in bad weather was a particular problem.

"The general environment of the prison was marred by too many oppressive fences and wire, as well as old and badly planned buildings, including Nissen huts."

Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Michael Maguire said: "Inspectors are supportive of the changes which have been introduced at Magilligan Prison to date.

"This progress is welcome and inspectors would pay tribute to the prison governor for his evident determination to deliver change."'

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