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One prisoner placed in specially located accommodation

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As of yesterday, one prisoner at Maghaberry has been placed in specially located accommodation away from the general population.

A spokesperson for the Department Of Justice said “This is a precautionary move and in line with our preparations to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. There have been no confirmed cases with people in our care.

As of this yesterday 163 operational prison staff are self-isolating. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus with prison staff.

Specific contingency planning structures are in place with a dedicated team to support Prison Governors. The Prison Service has also taken significant steps to reduce the number of people coming into our prisons. This has included the suspension of prison visits and home leave arrangements with only essential prison and healthcare staff being admitted to our prisons.

From this morning we have moved to a reduced regime across the three establishments. This means that all prisoners, with the exception of essential workers, will be required to remain in their accommodation block and areas such as the prison gyms and the Chapels have been closed.

No decisions have been taken regarding prisoner releases. Any decision will be based on a strict criteria and will be taken in full consultation with the Justice Minister.”

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