Long: NI Prison Service setting standards across the UK

Date published: 05 June 2020


Justice Minister Naomi Long today welcomed the findings of two new reports on Hydebank Wood Secure College and Female Prison.

Justice Minister Naomi Long
Long: NI Prison Service setting standards across the UK

The report on the young offender’s centre and Ash House, which houses women prisoners, was compiled by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate NI (CJINI) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP), the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI).

Commenting on the findings, Naomi Long said: “This is an exceptional report and highlights the continued progress of the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

“Safety and respect for prisoners and staff is paramount in rehabilitation, and this has been recognised by inspectors to be at the highest level in Hydebank Wood. The report also highlights examples of innovation which have resulted in Hydebank Wood becoming a model of best practice in the management of females and young offenders. Indeed, it is truly impressive that we are now setting standards for prison facilities across the UK.”

Naomi Long added: “I would commend Director General Ronnie Armour and his senior team on their continued vision and commitment to transform our Prison Service. Since becoming Minister I have been hugely impressed by their work and the emphasis it places on building positive relationships between staff and those placed in our care. I know the Prison Service is determined to build on this very positive and encouraging report through its person centred approach to challenging and supporting individuals to change.”  

Director General Ronnie Armour also paid tribute to Governors and staff at Hydebank Wood.

“This excellent inspection report could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of Governor Gary Milling and his staff at Hydebank Wood. Their efforts to help those young men and females who find themselves in our care have deservedly been acknowledged, and alongside our health care and education partners, I believe much more remarkable progress can be achieved as we move forward.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Hydebank Wood College which has a focus on education, learning and employment, accommodates young people between the ages of 18 and 21. It also accommodates female remand and sentenced prisoners in Ash House, a house block within the complex.
  2. At 4 June 2020there were 129 prisoners at Hydebank Wood College.
  3. Copies of the inspections of Ash House Women’s Prison and Hydebank Wood Secure College Report can be found at CJINI/Inspection reports.
  4. Press queries about this publication should be directed to the DoJ Press Office on telephone number 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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