SI DIMETTE IL CAPO DEL NI PRISON SERVICE
Robin Masefield mette fine alla sua carriera di capo del Northern Ireland Prison Service dopo 6 anni di polemiche
Alla fine di quest’anno verrà scelto il successo di Robin Masefield alla guida del Northern Ireland Prison Service.
Robin Masefield, annunciando le proprie dimissioni, mette fine alla sua carriere di 6 anni disseminati di polemiche tra le quali spiccano i due casi di suicidio avvenuti tra le mura del carcere di Maghaberry. Rapporti schiaccianti hanno denunciato lo stato di degrado della struttura carceraria, comprovata anche dalle denunce di prigionieri repubblicano in riferimento ai continui maltrattamenti e violazione dei diritti umani.
In un comunicato Robin Masefield ha dichiarato: “E ‘stato un privilegio servire in questa capacità e se è stato impegnativo ed esigente, è stato anche gratificante”.
Prison Service chief to step down (NewsLetter)
The head of the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) has announced he is to step down, ending a six year tenure that has been dogged by controversy.
Robin Masefield, 59, will leave his £100,000 a year role as Director General when his successor has been chosen later this year.
The married father of three said he intended to leave last year, but stayed on to steer the service through the transition brought by the devolution of law and order powers from London to Stormont.
“It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity and while it has been challenging and demanding, it has also been rewarding,” he said.
While indicating he is leaving on his own terms, Mr Masefield has faced down earlier calls to quit. His period at the helm, particularly the latter years, saw the NIPS rocked by a number of damning reports related to inmate suicides.
The most critical focused on the death of 34-year-old convicted murderer Colin Bell, who hanged himself in the top security Maghaberry jail near Antrim in 2008 despite being on 24-hour watch. Investigators found that wardens who were supposed to be checking the high-risk inmate were lying on beds watching TV.
That prompted the removal of Maghaberry’s governor and deputy governor and the disciplining of a number of staff. But only weeks after new governor Steve Rodford took charge another prisoner killed himself inside Maghaberry.
Mr Rodford, who was tasked with reforming the regime and improving prisoner monitoring inside Maghaberry, left his post after only five months in office over fears that he would be targeted by dissident republicans.
Earlier this year the body representing rank and file staff – the Prison Officers’ Association – called for Mr Masefield and other members of the NIPS management team to quit over their handling of the disciplinary procedures against its members in the wake of the Colin Bell death.
On top of those problems, Maghaberry has been severely criticised in recent times by dissident republican prisoners who claim mistreatment inside.