Ford welcomes working group on opportunities for separated prisoners

Alliance MLA David Ford has welcomed the Department of Justice establishing a working group to examine the education and training opportunities for separated prisoners in Maghaberry Prison.

Mr Ford was speaking after the DOJ announced the review, which will engage with stakeholders over the summer and report in the autumn. It is part of the recommendations of the Fresh Start Panel Report and the Executive’s action plan for tackling paramilitarism

“The panel on ending paramilitarism made a specific recommendation on ensuring paramilitary-linked prisoners are able to access appropriate education and training,” he said.

“I welcome today’s news the DOJ has set up a working group to examine how to implement this recommendation. It is important for the future protection of society those in separated conditions have educational opportunities similar to the mainstream prison population.

“This is a further step in the prison reform programme which will build on the good work already being done in Maghaberry. I wish the working group well in their task. It is also important the governments and the five parties make real efforts to ensure there is a Minister in place to take action based on the group’s recommendations when they come forward.”

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