It is important we recognise the impact of imprisonment and reflect on the needs of all those affected by prisons – prison staff, prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities.
This was the message from Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service Beverley Wall as she marked the beginning of Prisons Week (8-14 October).
Beverley Wall said: “Challenges facing our prisons today, including a fast-growing prisons population, are among the most complex and difficult we have faced in years.
“Prisons Week provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the needs of all those affected by prisons: prisoners and their families; victims of crime and communities; and also those working in criminal justice system
“As a progressive Prison Service that is competent, confident and compassionate, we continue to support people in prison to help them to address their offending behaviour and ultimately prepare them for their eventual return to life in the community.
“It is also important that we 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 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.”
As part of Prisons Week, a new exhibition of photographs featuring sport in prison, opens today, Monday 9 October, at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast,
Landing curling at Magilligan Prison, Gymnastics at Hydebank Wood College and an official Belfast Marathon in Maghaberry Prison are among the sporting images captured in the photographic display.
Beverley Wall said: “This exhibition provides an insight into prisoners’ participation in sport. The various sporting activities, participated in by both male and female prisoners, illustrate the benefits of physical activity and the positive impact it has on health and well-being, institutional behaviour and prisoner rehabilitation.”
The ‘Sport in Prison Photographic Exhibition’ at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast runs from Monday October 9 until Sunday October 15.
Notes to editors:
1. PHOTO CAPTIONS:
8/10/23: Beverley Wall, Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, makes a final selection for a new exhibition of photographs featuring Sport in Prison, which runs throughout Prisons Week (8-14 October) at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast.
REPRO FREE 8/10/23: Biking Exercise at Maghaberry Prison is among the sporting images captured in a new exhibition of photographs featuring Sport in Prison, which runs throughout Prisons Week (8-14 October) at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast.
8/10/23: Gymnastics at Hydebank Wood College and Female Prison is among the sporting images captured in a new exhibition of photographs featuring Sport in Prison, which runs throughout Prisons Week (8-14 October) at 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast.
2. Prisons Week 2023 runs from 8th – 14th October. For almost 50-years, Prisons Week has enabled the Christian community, through individuals and churches, to consider the needs of all those affected by prisons - prisoners and their families, victims of crime and their communities, those working in the criminal justice system and the many people who are involved in caring for those affected by crime on the inside and outside of our prisons.
3. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Follow the department on Twitter @Justice_NI (external link opens in a new window / tab)
5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only 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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