Prison Service has key role in making communities safer – Director General

Date published: 14 October 2018

Director General of the NI Prison Service, Ronnie Armour, has said his organisation has a key role to play in making communities safer.

Graphic for Prison Week
Prison Week runs from 14th October until 19th October

Speaking ahead of Prisons’ Week (14-19 October), he said: “It is essential that we hold those in our care safely and securely but it is equally important that we make the community safer by supporting people to change their behaviours as we focus on rehabilitation, resettlement and reintegration into society.

“While I recognise there has been criticism around some rehabilitation programmes recently, challenging and testing people in our care to change their behaviour is crucial if we are to succeed in re-integrating them back in to society.

“In the Prison Service, it is not our role to judge those in our care, it is our responsibility to challenge them to change. The last thing we want to do is to cause victims any further distress. What we want to do is to ensure there are fewer victims in the future; that no one else has to walk in their shoes or experience the trauma they have gone through. That is why we are working so hard to reduce the risk of re-offending.”

The future direction of the NI Prison Service is set out in the strategy document ‘Prisons 2020’. The strategy focuses on four key strands: people, services, infrastructure and partnerships.

Ronnie Armour added: “The four pillars of Prisons 2020 provide clarity and direction in terms of how we provide an efficient, effective, modern and affordable service, one which is focused on the development of our staff and is capable of rehabilitating those placed in our care.

“As a public service we have a valuable contribution to make. Striving to make our community safer is our priority and we are committed, through our people, our services, our infrastructure and our partnerships to place rehabilitation, resettlement and ultimately successful reintegration into society at the core of all we do.”

Notes to editors: 

1. Prisons Week originated in the 1970s when a group of prison Chaplains recognised the need to highlight what prisons mean to staff, those who are imprisoned, their families and most importantly the victims of crime.

2. View the Prisons 2020 delivery plan at

3. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110

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