A 3-day study visit to the Prison Service of Northern Ireland was organized from 05 to 07 June 2018 for a group of 7 senior prison officials from the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions within the Ministry of Justice, including the Director, as well as prison governors and deputy governors from different national penitentiary institutions.
As a result, the delegation benefited from the exchange of experiences, focusing on dynamic security in prisons, developing and maintaining constructive relations between the prison staff and the sentenced persons, as well as on the rehabilitation of sentenced persons through their work engagement, continuous learning and the preparation for post-penal life. In addition, the members of the delegation learnt how to deal with persons sentenced for terrorism, focusing on their resocialisation, and on the challenges related with prison management in general and particularly with the process of transfer of healthcare from the penitentiary system to the regular healthcare system in the country.
The delegation visited three prison facilities in Northern Ireland (Maghaberry Prison, Magilligan Prison and Hydebank Wood Prison) and met with the respective prison governors, psychologists working on treatment programmes, probation officers, security officers, medical and other prison staff, as well as with representatives from the Prison Service of Northern Ireland. The topics discussed included the role of the Prison Service, management accountability and performance monitoring, as well as the role of the prison inspection and other scrutiny bodies.
The study visit was organised within the scope of the Project ‘’Strengthening the protection of the rights of sentenced persons’’, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe within the “Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey” and implemented by the Council of Europe.