Sexual Offences

Northern Ireland written question – answered am ar 7 Rhagfyr 2009.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Iris Robinson Iris Robinson DUP, Strangford

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

(1) how many sex offenders were housed in dormitory accommodation in HM Prison Magilligan (a) in the nine months up to August 2009 and (b) on the latest date for which figures are available; on what authority they were so housed; and what steps have been taken to move them to single cell accommodation;

(2) how many sex offenders have been moved to open type accommodation at Foyleview in the last three months; and what steps have been taken to inform the local population of the matter.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

In the nine months up to August 2009 there was an average of 55 sex offenders held in dormitory type accommodation; at 3 December 2009 there were 47 sex offenders held in this accommodation unit. Staff at Magilligan are in the process of reallocating prisoner accommodation, following the refurbishment of H blocks, which will reduce the numbers in dormitory accommodation to 32, with the intention of introducing partitions to provide for increased privacy.

All prisoners, regardless of offence, may occupy cellular accommodation, single rooms or dormitories.

On 24 September 2009 five sex offenders were transferred to Foyleview semi-open accommodation unit (a low supervision unit within the Magilligan prison complex) and as of 3 December 2009 nine sex offenders were located there. This is part of our strategy to make the most effective use of prisoner accommodation, based on prisoners satisfactorily completing a risk assessment and meeting the strict criteria necessary for their placement.

Before being transferred to Foyleview, prisoners must be assessed at category C level-the lowest category of risk assessment. Each prisoner accepted to Foyleview has been admitted as a result of his progression through the prison regime, though where a prisoner fails to comply with the requirements of the unit, they may be returned to the main prison complex.

There is no obligation on NIPS to inform the public.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No2 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.