The Independent Monitoring Board for Northern Ireland has published its Annual Report 2008/09 for Hydebank Wood Prison and Young Offenders Centre. IMBs are similar in function to the Prison Visiting Committees in the Republic of Ireland.
Hydebank Wood is one part of Northern Ireland’s three-establishment prisons estate, along with Maghaberry Prison and Magilligan Prison. It comprises a women’s prison and a male young offenders centre, housing all sentenced and remanded prisoners in these two categories on a single campus. Some boys under the age of 18 years are also held at Hydebank Wood.
"Hydebank Wood should theoretically be a top performing prison. However, that was not what HM Inspectorate of Prisons and Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland reported in 2008. Their findings were mainly negative and portrayed Hydebank Wood as an establishment with serious deficiencies. The IMB’s experiences during 2008/09 were broadly in line with the Inspectorates’ reports."
The report contains 54 recommendations, all aimed at helping Hydebank Wood meet the criteria for a healthy prison, in terms of safety, respect, purposeful activity and resettlement.
Download the report here.