Published Thursday, 02 August 2012
Frances McKeown hanged herself in her cell. (© UTV)
Gary Alcock, who was the governor at Hydebank in south Belfast at the time the prisoner took her own life, has been suspended since last May.
It comes after concerns were raised in report by the Prison Ombusdsman.
Mr Alcock has been given a fortnight to respond to the charge.
Confirming the disciplinary process was underway, Prison Service chiefs said: "Proceedings have been instigated and it would not be appropriate to comment at this stage."
Frances McKeown, who was 23, hanged herself in her cell in the women's section of the jail last year. She was discovered during a routine check by staff.
The Ombudsman, Pauline McCabe was called in to carry out an inquiry, and she has produced an interim report.
There is no suggestion his actions contributed to Ms McKeown's suicide.
If a disciplinary hearing goes ahead and the charge found to be proven, then Mr Alcock could face a range of sanctions - however he cannot be dismissed from his post.