Resettlement is an important part of the rehabilitation process which helps reduce the risk of re-offending and protects the community, Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has said.
The party’s justice spokesperson was speaking after the release of a report from the Criminal Justice Inspection (CJI).
He commented: “I welcome the report and support the work that has been done in terms of resettlement. I acknowledge that progress has been made but there is always room for improvement.
“In the seven years since CJI’s last resettlement inspection report was published, progress had been made following the introduction and use of the Prisoner Development Model to identify and assess individual prisoner’s risks, needs and strengths.
“This work included interventions to address offending behaviour, maintain family contact, gain skills and qualifications to help access employment, together with practical assistance and support with housing, finance and debt, health and addictions.
“Inspectors support the collaborative approach of the NIPS and the PBNI to deliver resettlement services in partnership with healthcare providers, addiction services and the voluntary and community sector, as it offers the best prospect of success.
“The implementation of the two strategic and seven operational recommendations in the inspection report should help maximise the potential of the NIPS/PBNI partnership to reduce risk and prepare individual prisoners for their release.
“Resettlement is an important part of the rehabilitation process which helps reduce the risk of reoffending and protects the community, as such the necessary resources should be brought to the process.”