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244 Antrim Road


BT15 2AR
Tar Isteach
   North Belfast Republican Ex-Prisoners
Charity Number  NIC 100049    Company Registration Number NI47243 

244 Antrim Road


BT15 2AR

Accessing Prison Records
Political Ex-Prisoners sacked
2nd Report of Ex-Prisoner Review Panel
Tí Chuilainn

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Mickey Culbert of Coiste na n-Iarchimi met with the Public Record Office (In Titanic Quarter, Belfast ) and asked for details on exactly how political ex-prisoners can access their prison files.
His questions and their answers;

1. A person who was sentenced to prison wants to access all of the prison records on him/herself – including their medical files or security files. What do they do?

A ‘data subject’ i.e. the person who seeks their own information, whether that is their prison file and / or their medical data, is entitled to ask for all data on them and expect a clear answer as to what is held on them and why they cannot see it for whatever reason. See below for a link to the Information Commissioners Office on how to ask for your medical files.

You can appeal to them if you are still unsatisfied with the response from the Prison Service:
the 8 Data Protection Principles.
• As a citizen, you should expect that your personal data shall:
• Be processed lawfully and fairly
• Be obtained only for a single lawful purpose (and not further unlawfully processed or shared)
• Be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose it was collected for
• Be accurate and up to date
• Not be kept for longer than necessary
• Be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects per DPA 1998
• Possess appropriate technical / organisational measures to protect personal data from loss, theft,    corruption, etc.
• Not be transferred / shared outside the European Economic Area, unless that other country has equally robust protocols for protecting the personal data

2. If a person was interned is the same process followed for the above?
Public Record Office holds the Internment Files under NIO/5 (Internment files) and NIO/35 (Internment appeal files). As a data subject i.e. ex-internee (or a solicitor representing that data subject), you can ask for that file to be released. This is a slow process - lots of ex-internees have requested their file.

3. If a person was imprisoned back in time – in the 1950’s – is the same process followed?
a. Write to PRONI as they might hold prison records (for example, the Crum), or more likely the criminal court / appeal records for that person.

4. If a person was remanded to prison but never sentenced – can those remand files be accessed?
Probably not held by PRONI, but you could contact the Court / Prison Service (via the Department of Justice website):
Address for contact with PRONI is:
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland | Records Management,
Cataloguing and Access | Department for Communities
PRONI | 2 Titanic Boulevard | Belfast | BT3 9HQ
Contact: * [email protected],