Sugden visits Magilligan as part of prisons tour



Justice Minister Claire Sugden
Justice Minister Claire Sugden

Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister Claire Sugden yesterday began a tour of Northern Ireland’s prisons by meeting prison officers and staff at Magilligan Prison.

Ms Sugden was briefed on operations at the medium security prison, which houses more than 500 adult male prisoners, by Governor David Eagleson.

She toured prisoner workshops as well as residential and prisoner development units, and met with prison officers and other staff.

Speaking yesterday, Ms Sugden said: “Today’s visit allowed me to see first-hand the work taking place at Magilligan and to discuss with Prison Service staff the challenges of providing for a complex mix of prisoners.

“There is no doubt the existing infrastructure at Magilligan has outlived its useful life and is expensive and inefficient to staff, maintain and operate. Yet there is still some exceptionally good work being done.”

Governor Eagleson added: “Magilligan prides itself on being part of the local community. We operate a very progressive regime for prisoners and the Minister was able to witness first hand much of the good work which is taking place in the prison.

“All prisoners in Magilligan will return to the community at some stage and it is vital that they are given every opportunity to address their offending behaviour when in prison. I have a team of dedicated staff who are working earnestly in preparing prisoners for release and in doing so are making an important contribution to wider society.”