Ulster Unionist Party Justice spokesperson Doug Beattie MC MLA has said news of the latest death of a prisoner within HMP Maghaberry confirms that there is a crisis within the Northern Ireland prison system.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“First of all our sympathies must go to the family of the prisoner who has been found dead in his cell at Maghaberry. Whatever the exact circumstance was, it is simply not acceptable that people who are incarcerated within a state institution are dying on such a regular basis. This is the third fatality in the month of November. That fact alone must surely shake away any complacency amongst those in charge of our prison system.
“I repeat what I have said before; there is a crisis in our prison service which deserves the full attention of the Executive, the Minister for Justice, and prison management. There is an immediate need to increase staffing levels to a safe standard and instigate safety measures requested by HMP Maghaberry Prison Officer Association when they met with the FM on 10 October 2016.
“How many more prisoners have to lose their lives before our Executive realises there is a real crisis within our prisons and our Prison Service that will not go away until decisive and strategic action is taken.”