Justice Minister visits Magilligan Prison

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Justice Minister Claire Sugden today visited Magilligan Prison as part of a series of visits to Northern Ireland’s prisons.

The medium security prison in County Londonderry houses more than 500 adult male sentenced prisoners.

During her visit the Minister was briefed on operations by Governor David Eagleson and toured prisoner workshops as well as residential and prisoner development units. She also met with Prison Officers and other members of staff.

Minister 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.”

Magilligan Prison Governor David Eagleson said: “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.”