Ms McAliskey, left, daughter of the former nationalist MP Bernadette Devlin, was previously a Category A high-risk prisoner in Holloway Prison, north London, which meant she was strip-searched before and after prison visits. Yesterday, the Prison Service reduced her classification to Category A standard-risk which means she will be strip-searched less often and will be allowed access to a dress-making craft shop in the prison.
A spokesman for the Prison Service said she would now be subject only to random strip-searching or when "under suspicion".
He said the decision was made by a group of "fairly senior members of the Prison Service" including Alan Walker, director of operation for the south region, whose beat includes Holloway.
Ms McAliskey is due to give birth in May.