Statement from the Northern Ireland Prison Service

Date published: 25 March 2020

Here you find the latest update from the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

covid 19 latest news update - statement from ni prison service

As of 15.00 25 March 2020 one prisoner at Maghaberry is in specially located accommodation away from the general population.  This is a precautionary move and in line with our preparations to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.  There have been no confirmed cases with people in our care.

As of this morning 163 operational prison staff are self-isolating.  There
are no confirmed cases of coronavirus with prison staff.  

Specific contingency planning structures are in place with a dedicated team to support Prison Governors.  The Prison Service has also taken significant steps to reduce the number of people coming into our prisons.  This has included the suspension of prison visits and home leave arrangements with only essential prison and healthcare staff being admitted to our prisons.  

From this morning we have moved to a reduced regime across the three establishments.  This means that all prisoners, with the exception of essential workers, will be required to remain in their accommodation block and areas such as the prison gyms and the Chapels have been closed.

No decisions have been taken regarding prisoner releases.  Any decision will be based on a strict criteria and will be taken in full consultation with the Justice Minister.




Notes to editors: 

Note to editor

1.  Prison Service has approximately 1200 operational staff.

2. For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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