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Prison Accommodation

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what dormitory accommodation (a) is available in Northern Ireland's prisons and (b) has been used between 1 September 2006 and 1 September 2009; (294335)

(2) what types of accommodation sex offenders occupy in prisons in Northern Ireland;

(3) what categories of prisoner are housed in dormitory accommodation in prisons in Northern Ireland;

(4) whether sex offenders are planned to be housed in the Foyleview Resettlement Unit of HMP Magilligan.

There is a 64-bed dormitory accommodation unit (Sperrin) at Magilligan Prison and an eight-bed dormitory accommodation unit at Hydebank Wood. Both have been used between 1 September 2006 and 1 September 2009.

Sex offenders may occupy cellular accommodation, single rooms or dormitories.

At 19 October the Sperrin unit held 37 Category B/C prisoners in custody for sexual offences and one other Category B prisoner, all of whom were sentenced. At Hydebank Wood there were three inmates housed in dormitory accommodation with non-sexual offences—two of these were sentenced and one was on remand.

Since 24 September a total of five sex offenders, who have met the strict criteria necessary for their placement, have been housed in Foyleview Resettlement Unit at Magilligan.