Head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour, has welcomed a report by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate on the delivery of resettlement services for people in custody.
“I welcome the Chief Inspector’s comment that we in the Prison Service, and indeed our colleagues in the Probation Service, have much to be proud of in the work that we undertake to provide effective services to support the resettlement and rehabilitation of people in our care.
“The Northern Ireland Prison Service exists to help create a safe community where people respect the law and each other; challenging offenders, and supporting them to change by giving them the skills they need to resettle back into the community, is key to that.
“There will always be more that we can and should be doing and, with that in mind, we in the Prison Service are committed to a programme of continuous improvement with services to aid resettlement at the heart of that.”
Paul Doran, Director of Rehabilitation at the Probation Board for Northern Ireland said: “Resettlement is a key element in reducing the risk of reoffending. In particular we welcome the recognition that significant progress has been made following the introduction of the Prisoner Development Model.
“Work will continue to implement the recommendations in today’s report with both the Probation Board, and our colleagues in the Prison Service committed to working in partnership to that end.”
Echoing the words of Chief Inspector, Brendan McGuigan, Mr. Armour stressed the fact that the path to rehabilitation is not an easy one, and added, “It is the job of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, our colleagues in the Probation Board and indeed, all our partners right across the justice family, to continue to challenge - and to effect change - for those who find themselves being dealt with by the justice system.”
Mr. Armour also added that he was pleased to see recognition of the work of Prison, Probation and voluntary and community sector staff in the report which acknowledged their positive attitude, knowledge and commitment to their role.
In conclusion, Mr. Armour said: “The recommendations in today’s report will be integrated into our programme of continuous improvement, Prisons 2020. This will ensure that the services provided by the Prison Service continue to develop and evolve to meet the changing needs of those in our care in the future.”
Notes to editors:
1. 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 via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.
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