CJINI Report on Care & Treatment of Prisoners
IWOC Ireland statement on CJINI report on care and treatment of prisoners in Care and Supervision Units
IWOC Ireland welcomes the publication of the Criminal Justice Inspectorate Northern Ireland’s (CJINI) report into the Care and Supervision Units (CSUs).
The report clearly shows the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) is in breach of international standards in its use of CSUs as sites of ‘solitary confinement.’ More than that, the report highlights the NIPS complete disregard for prisoners’ health and wellbeing. Furthermore, their willingness to abuse their fundamental rights to purposeful activity and meaningful human contact.
A spokesperson for IWOC Ireland said “The CJINI report into Care and Supervision Units reflects the flagrant abuse of prisoners’ rights daily behind prison walls in the north of Ireland. Our members have been speaking out against and challenging the NIPS use of CSUs since 2019. Prison authorities claim that CSUs are used only when a person is evidenced to be violent or proven a danger to themselves or others.
"Yet our members have witnessed prisoners being labelled ‘disruptive’ and moved to CSUs under the pretence of ‘maintaining good order and discipline’ – with no due process in the decision making. This has allowed prison authorities to use the CSUs as Control and Segregation Units – to isolate and repress prisoners deemed ‘difficult,’ with no regard for the psychological and physical harm caused.
"It cannot be tolerable to any citizen that public money is being used to enable solitary confinement – a mode of torture with the capacity to ravage the mental health of a person. IWOC Ireland calls on all workers, unions and public officials to speak out about the state sponsored torture of prisoners in the north of Ireland and campaign to ensure prisoners’ right to access healthcare and purposeful activity is upheld.”
They concluded by adding: “This report is further evidence that prisons are toxic institutions that wreak havoc on individuals, families and communities. The recommendations made by the CJI, if actioned, may go some way to slightly lessen the harms some prisoners experience, yet they will never quell the unerring violence of prisons. They are, and always will be violent instruments of class oppression.”