IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

Receive updates by Email | RSS

Urgent need for pre-release scheme for life sentenced prisoners in Northern Ireland

9th July 2012

A recent report from Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) called for the urgent development of a new pre-release scheme that should be based at a new step-down facility.This follows the suspension of the Prisoner Assessment Unit in Belfast in April 2012. CJI also recommended increasing the number of forensic psychologists available for life sentence prisoners, to engage with life sentence prisoner earlier into their sentence, and to further extend the Offending Behaviour Programme (OBP). 

CJI praised some of the changes made since 2008 to the system of life sentence management in Northern Ireland. In particular, CJI welcomed the existence of a dedicated ‘lifer’ house at Maghaberry Prison, a more progressive and transparent security classification model, and better inter-agency collaboration between the Probation Board of Northern Ireland (PBNI), the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) and the Parole Commission Northern Ireland (PCNI).

Full report available here 

Key Issues