What is CJI?
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) is an independent, statutory inspectorate established in 2003 under s.45 of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002. It is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) in the person of the Chief Inspector.
CJI is one-of a-kind as it is the only unified inspectorate in the United Kingdom or Ireland that can look at all the agencies that make up the criminal justice system apart from the judiciary. Organisations which CJI can inspect include the police service, prison service, prosecution service, youth justice services and the courts.
This means CJI is in a unique position to identify issues that are common to some or all organisations and is in a strong position to promote inter-organisational learning and best practice across and between the various agencies.
Who works there?
CJI is led by the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland, Brendan McGuigan, who has overall responsibility for setting the direction of the organisation. The Chief Inspector also has responsibility for maintaining strong links with CJI’s partner Inspectorates, other organisations and recognised experts that, when required, assist CJI in fulfilling its comprehensive inspection programme. He is supported in his role by the Deputy Chief Inspector.
The Deputy Chief Inspector, James Corrigan is the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer for the organisation and has responsibility for the day-to-day running of CJI. He also supports the Chief Inspector in fulfilling his role and deputises for him when required. Further information on the Chief Inspector and the Deputy Chief Inspector can be found in the CJI Senior Management Team page
of this site.
Inspectors working for CJI come from a variety of different professional backgrounds with each member of the team bringing with them a wealth of professional skills, individual experience and knowledge.
Their role in the organisation is key to ensuring the smooth-running of each inspection and the promotion and maintenance of good relationships between CJI and the agencies it inspects.
CJI also benefits from the assistance of a Business Support Team which ensures the complex and varied needs of CJI are met and the organisation is up to date with developments in new technology at all times, They contribute to the management of the human, physical and financial resources of CJI. Their combined roles are to ensure that the Inspection Team have the necessary assistance to do their job efficiently and effectively to fulfill the Inspection programme.
CJI's internal and external communications activity is led by the Business and Communications Manager who provides professional advice and guidance to all staff on internal and external communication matters. The role exists to maintain the consistency and standard of all corporate media releases; act as the first point of contact for all media enquiries and provide support to all staff to ensure communication with external stakeholders is effective.
The Business and Communications Manager also assists in the delivery of internal corporate messages and ensures that good communication between staff working for the organisation is maintained. In conjunction with the IT and Security Manager, the Business and Communications Manager also has responsibility for managing the content of the CJI website.
What are CJI's aims?
The strategic aim of Criminal Justice Inspection is to promote the effectiveness, efficiency and even-handedness of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.
It also seeks:
to secure improvement and greater co-operation between the various statutory, voluntary and community organisations that contribute to the criminal justice system;
to promote public confidence in the system as a whole;
to communicate regularly with its stakeholders;
where appropriate, to work in partnership with other Inspectorates and avail of internationally recognised expertise and experts in specialist fields to enhance the inspection process; and
to work in a collaborative manner with the inspected agencies to secure improvement while maintaining its reputation for carrying out independent impartial inspections.
CJI also aspires to apply the principles for inspecting public offices circulated by the Cabinet Office in 2003. These principles indicate that public service inspection should:
focus on outcomes;
take a user perspective;
be proportionate to risk;
encourage self-assessment by managers;
use impartial evidence where possible;
disclose the criteria used for judgement;
be open about the processes involved;
have regard for value for money including that of the inspecting body; and
continually learn from experience.
Through its Inspection Programme CJI also seeks to support the Government’s four strategic aims for the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. They are:
to provide an independent, fair and effective criminal justice system for the community;
to work together to help reduce the fear of crime;
to make the criminal justice system as open, inclusive and accessible as possible and promote confidence in the administration of justice; and
to improve service delivery by enhancing levels of effectiveness, efficiency and co-operation within the criminal justice system.
Who funds CJI?
Funding of CJI has been provided by the to the Department of Justice (DoJ) since the devolution of policing and justice matters to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 12 April 2010. Prior to this, CJI was funded by the Northern Ireland Office.