Thursday, 16 February 2012
The Prison Service of Northern Ireland has launched a new recruitment drive for prison officers – with women and Catholics being particularly sought after.
The service is recruiting for some 200 staff, who will be brought on alongside a major redundancy scheme, after significant calls were made for an overhaul of the Prison Service in the region.
The director general of the service, Colin McConnell, said that the recruitment was a milestone for them and they would be using all recruitment facilities available to them to ensure that they take on the most suitable staff for the jobs.
“The case for fundamental reform of the Northern Ireland Prison Service has been made in successive reports and the challenge to deliver those reforms has been accepted by management and Justice Minister David Ford,” he said. “Refreshing the workforce is a central part of the reform agenda and with staff leaving through the current exit scheme, it provides the opportunity to introduce new recruits into the Prison Service.”
The service has faced mounting accusations that it is falling short of 21st century needs and that problems that originated during The Troubles have not been addressed. Most of the wardens during the troubles were Protestants and the service’s main focus was on dealing with paramilitaries, but those demographics have significantly shifted nowadays.