Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon MLA has welcomed today’s announcement that restrictions on prison visits will be eased.
The party’s Justice spokesperson said:
“I welcome today’s announcement that preparations have now begun to allow prison visits for close relatives of people in custody which had previously been suspended as a result of COVID-19.
“This will be of great relief to prisoners and relatives alike, as visits are an important part of rehabilitation.
“It’s a testament to the Prison Service that they have done so well to prevent a feared outbreak in prisons.
“Families and prisoners made huge sacrifices to get us to this stage and they, along with the hard work of the prison staff, should be commended.
“Covid-19 has not gone away, however, and it is vitally important that the easing of these restrictions is done in a proper manner, that public health guidelines are strictly adhered to, and we don’t become complacent to the risk of the virus.
“I also want to further note the great success of the facilitation of virtual visits, which provided a vital outlet to prisoners and allowed some prisoners to contact loved ones they hadn’t been able to before.
“I would urge the further development of the virtual visits system alongside physical visits.”