About the Northern Ireland Prison Service

Information on the Northern Ireland Prison Service including aims, establishments, the Prison Review Team and the status of the prison service with the Department of Justice.

Agency within DOJ

The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) is an agency within the Department of Justice. It is responsible for the operation and delivery of services within the Northern Ireland prison system. Its main statutory duties are set out in the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953.

Aim of the prison service

The overall aim of the Northern Ireland Prison Service is to improve public safety by reducing the risk of re-offending through the management and rehabilitation of offenders in custody. Its main statutory duties are set out in the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953.

The Prison Service, through its staff, serves the community by keeping in secure, safe and humane custody those committed by the courts and, by working with prisoners and with other organisations, seeks to reduce the risk of re-offending and in so doing aims to protect the public and to contribute to peace and stability in Northern Ireland.

Prison Review Team

The Prison Review Team’s report was published in October 2011 and highlighted the need for end to end change across the Prison Service in Northern Ireland. The Prison Service Reform Programme is working to implement the 40 recommendations from the Report.

Prison service establishments

The Prison Service headquarters is located at Dundonald House in the Stormont Estate. There are three prison establishments, namely, Maghaberry, Magilligan and Hydebank Wood College and Women’s Prison. The Prison Service College is located at Millisle.

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