Northern Ireland Prisons: ‘Solitary Confinement’ Breaking UN Standards

London: Some Northern Ireland prisoners are being held in what amounts to “solitary confinement” in breach of international standards, a report has found. CCTV recordings over a five-day period showed 20 inmates at Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn did not leave their cells. The report by Criminal Justice Inspection (CJI) raised “significant concerns about the treatment of prisoners”.

The Prison Service said parts of the report make for difficult reading. The report was commissioned by Justice Minister Naomi Long and looked at care and supervision units within Northern Ireland’s three prison sites at Maghaberry, Hydebank Wood and Magilligan. Among prisoners, the units are known as “the block”. They normally hold about 2% of Northern Ireland’s jail population at a given time.

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