Whoa! We average 60,000+ unique weekly readers!

Local News

Justice Minister Naomi Long has welcomed moves to ease restrictions on visiting prisons

2 Mins read

Prisons will now begin preparations to ensure all visits areas follow health guidelines to keep staff, prisoners and visitors safe. Visits, under new guidance, will begin on 27 July.

Naomi Long said: “The work being done to keep our prisons safe for staff and those in our care has been hugely impressive and I want to pay tribute to the Prison Service and our partners for their dedication throughout this time.

“The careful reintroduction of visits will be welcome progress for families and those in our care: family contact is an important part of rehabilitation and I’m pleased we are now in a position to move this forward.”

Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour said: “I fully recognise the importance of ensuring people in our care can maintain relationships with their families. It is a hugely important part of rehabilitation and in preparing people for release back into the community.

“In response to the pandemic visiting arrangements to our prisons had to be suspended. Since then we have introduced an extensive programme of virtual visits, which have been hugely successful and have allowed many people to contact loved ones where they had not been able to do so before. Virtual visits will continue to grow and more than 8,000 have taken place since mid-April.

“As Northern Ireland Executive leads recovery in the community, the Prison Service is committed to doing likewise in our establishments. Re-introducing visits for close relatives of people in custody is an important step in that recovery.

“Over the next few weeks each of our prisons will make preparations to ensure that healthcare guidelines are adhered to keep our staff, prisoners and their visitors safe. Visits, under the new guidelines, will therefore commence on 27 July.

“We must remain vigilant to the risk of the virus and this decision will be kept under review. However I know this decision will be welcome news to the people in our care and their families.”

The new guidance includes a number of measures including:

– Where possible virtual visiting remains the preferred option;
– Anyone showing or experiencing the symptoms of Covid-19 or any other infection should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild and unconfirmed;
– Visitors must rigorously follow public health hygiene advice – washing heads before and after visits, using hand sanitiser gel and maintain social distancing;
– Only one visitor is permitted to visit at a time;
– Children under the age of 16 will not be permitted to visit. In the event of exceptional circumstances, this can be raised through the internal request mechanism; and
– Visitors will be required to undertake a temperature check upon entry to any NIPS establishment.

10806 posts

About author
An article that is attributed to the Causeway Coast Community Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release. Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Causeway Coast Community? Email us - [email protected]
Related posts
BusinessLocal News

Facebook "Like and Share" competitions do not work!

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppYou may have noticed a number of ‘like’ and ‘share’ competitions on Facebook in recent months but do they really work? These…
Local News

Slashed tyres and brake pipes cut on car in Ballymoney

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppPolice are appealing for information following the report of criminal damage being caused to a car in the Union Street area of…
Local News

Emergency services tasked to Ballycastle

1 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppUPDATE : 16.04 : It is understood that this incident involved a vulnerable male who has been transferred to hospital. Police have…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *