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Prisons: Northern Ireland

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

On how many days television and radio crews or journalists have been admitted to Northern Ireland's prisons in each of the past three years; and whether these visits included visits by foreign broadcasters or journalists. [HL3926]

The following table lists the number of days, or part days, for which media personnel were given permission to enter Northern Ireland prison establishments over the past three years. Apart from the two occasions where media availed of a general invitation, the other occasions were limited to one particular journalist or crew who were given permission to cover a specific topic or theme. A wide range of subject matters have been featured including a Royal Visit, a major announcement on the future of the prison estate, prison art, healthcare and education, plus two documentary series.

Television Crew

Radio Journalist

Newspaper Journalist

Open Invitation

June 2005-May 2006

33*

2

2

1

June 2006-May 2007

15**

7

5

June 2007-May 2008

42***

6

4

1

* Includes 30 days (or part days) that filming was undertaken at Hydebank Wood Prison for the “Sons of Ulster” documentary series.

** Includes 12 days (or part days) that filming was undertaken at Hydebank Wood Prison for the “Sons of Ulster” documentary series.

*** Includes 38 days (or part days) that filming was undertaken at Northern Ireland prison establishments for the “Life Inside” documentary series.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service has received no requests in the past three years from foreign journalists to prison establishments.