Justice Minister welcomes Prisons Week 2016

Date published: 09 October 2016

Justice Minister Claire Sugden has welcomed the start of Prisons Week 2016 which encourages everyone to remember victims of crime, those who work in our prisons, prisoners and their families and all those connected with the justice sector in Northern Ireland. Prisons Week runs from 9-15 October.

The Minister said: “Prisons Week is an opportunity for us to remember everyone associated with the prison system in Northern Ireland.  Prison staff work on behalf of the entire community and I want to pay particular tribute to them for their role in building a safer Northern Ireland. 

“This year has been a particularly difficult time for our prison staff with the despicable murder of Adrian Ismay in March and I want to pay tribute to him, his family and his colleagues in the Prison Service. 

“Prisons Week also remembers victims of crime and the burden they have to carry.  The justice system must continue to support people who have been affected by crime to ensure they receive the justice they deserve and our prisons should support people in custody to address their offending behaviour and to play a positive role when they return to the community. 

Director General of the Prison Service Sue McAllister said, “Prisons Week is an important part of the year.  As well as highlighting the crucial work of our staff and remembering victims of crime, it is also important that we also recognise the impact of imprisonment, and in particular the effect it has on the families of prisoners. 

“Families are often forgotten but we know that when a prisoner leaves custody they are much less likely to re-offend if they have a positive support network.  I want to commend they work of our many service partners for the work they do to ensure that family connections are maintained while people are in prison. That support helps the Prison Service to play our part in reducing re-offending and building a safer community.”

Notes to editors: 

1. All media enquiries to DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number: 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.

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