2008

Criminal Justice Inspection has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2007-08.  Copies of the report can be downloaded by following this link or hard copies can be obtained by contacting CJI directly by phone, fax, email or letter.
Dr Michael Maguire, Bill Priestley and Tom McGonigle met with representatives of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture during their visit to Northern Ireland to assess conditions at Maghaberry and Magilligan Prisons and PSNI custody suites.

Dr Michael Maguire was one of a number of guest speakers who addressed the first day of the 2008 Courts Conference hosted by the Northern Ireland Court Service at the Inn of Courts, Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast.  The event was attended by representatives of all of the court jurisdictions within the British Isles.  Other speakers who addressed the conference were senior officials within the courts services across these jurisdictions.



 

CJI’s Chief Inspector Dr Michael Maguire was one of a number of speakers invited to address this year’s Criminal Justice System Northern Ireland Conference.  The theme of the event held at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick, was Working Together for Public Protection.  During his speech, Dr Maguire highlighted the role of the inspection process played in developing the criminal justice system and the contribution CJI could make to building confidence in the criminal justice system and demystifying it for the community.  The event which brought together representatives from across the criminal justice sector also incorporated the 2008 Criminal Justice Awards which promote best practice across the system.  The awards were presented by the Criminal Justice Minister Paul Goggins MP.

Criminal Justice Inspection and the Northern Ireland Prison Service jointly hosted a three day fact-finding visit to Northern Ireland by Ritta-Leena Salovaara (Inspection Manager) and Ari Juuti (Senior Inspector with the Finnish Criminal Sanctions Agency,  During their visit, they visited Maghaberry and Magilligan Prisons and the Young Offender Centre at Hydebank Wood.  The visit provided an opportunity to showcase the benefits of collaborative working between CJI and the Northern Ireland Prison Service.  The representatives of the Finnish Criminal Sanctions Agency were accompanied on their prison visits by Dr Michael Maguire and Tom McGonigle from CJI.  Speaking after the visit, Tom  said the visit provided an opportunity for CJI to learn about practice and procedures in other countries.

Tom McGonigle presented a paper on Correctional Oversight – Challenges, Prospects and Lessons at a workshop as part of the annual conference of the International Corrections and Prisons Association in Prague, Czech Republic.  Other workshop speakers included the Correctional Investigator of Canada  Howard Sapers, the recently retired Chief Inspector of Prisons of Western Australia, Richard Harding and the Director of Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action from Nigeria, Uju Agomoh.  Over 350 delegates attended the international conference.

Dr Michael Maguire gave a speech to delegates attending the Extern Conference held at the Dunadry Hotel, Templepatrick on the challenges facing criminal justice system in the future.  The conference celebrated Extern’s 30 years of providing services to children adults and communities facing social exclusion in Northern Ireland. To find out more about Extern’s work across Ireland, please follow this link.
Dr Michael Maguire gave a speech to delegates attending the Extern Conference held at the Dunadry Hotel, Templepatrick on the challenges facing criminal justice system in the future.  The conference celebrated Extern’s 30 years of providing services to children adults and communities facing social exclusion in Northern Ireland. To find out more about Extern’s work across Ireland, please follow this link.
ASBO's report published | 17/10/2008
A new report by Criminal Justice Inspection has examined the operation and effectiveness of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) in Northern Ireland.  The report looks at how the PSNI, Northern Ireland Housing Executive and 26 local Councils were making their ASBO applications and undertaking their responsibilities since the legislation was introduced in 2004.  Commenting on the findings, CJI’s Chief Inspector Dr Michael Maguire said that overall, a sensible approach had been demonstrated by the various agencies to the introduction of ASBOs, and that they had learned from the experience of colleagues in England and Wales.  To view or download a copy of the report please click here or to see our press release, please visit the press release page

Criminal Justice Inspection has published the latest edition of its newsletter The Spec. Copies of the October '08 edition can be viewed or downloaded here.

Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector, gave a presentation at the BMF Modern and Efficient Government Conference in the Stormont Hotel on Wednesday 17 September 2008.  A copy of the presentation can be downloaded here.

 

Paul Googins MP and Dr Michael MaguireCJI’s new Chief Inspector Dr Michael Maguire has met with the Criminal Justice Minister Paul Goggins MP for the first time since taking up his post.  The Chief Inspector said he welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Minister and looked forward to working with him in the future.


Speaking about his appointment as the head of CJI, Dr Maguire said: “I am delighted to have taken over as Chief Inspector from Kit Chivers and look forward to building relationships with CJI's partner agencies in the criminal justice system.  The Inspectorate is making a valuable contribution to the criminal justice system and I believe elected local representatives and local people are taking an interest in the findings of CJI’s reports."

Dr. Michael Maguire has joined CJI as Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice for Northern Ireland.  Michael comes to CJI with over 20 years experience in management consultancy working at the highest level of the public sector in Ireland.  Prior to taking up his post, Michael was a partner in the global consultancy firm PA Consulting.
CJI light touch review | 28/07/2008
A light touch review of Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland and its work has been carried out on behalf of the Criminal Justice Policy Division of the Northern Ireland Office. The review which was carried out during the spring of 2008 commended the Inspectorate’s collaborative approach to inspection and recognised the thematic and cross-cutting inspections were highly regarded.  To view a copy of the review please follow this link.
An inspection of the crime investigations function of the Royal Mail Group by CJI has found that investigations being carried out by Royal Mail Investigators in Northern Ireland are to a high standard.  Case files have been found to compare favourably with other areas of the United Kingdom served by the Royal Mail Group. Inspectors have recommended that developing a direct method of presenting case files to the Public Prosecution Services for a prosecution decision however would help to streamline current processes and further enhance communication.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt. Hon Shaun Woodward MP, has appointed Dr Michael Maguire to replace Kit Chivers as the new Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice for Northern Ireland.  Dr Maguire is a partner in PA Consulting Group.  He will take up his appointment as Chief Inspector with CJI on 1 September.  For further information, please follow this link.
Kit Chivers met with Junior Minister Gerry Kelly MLA at Stormont to discuss the findings of the recent HMIP/CJI inspection of Hydebank Wood Young Offender Centre.
Criminal Justice Inspection has praised the work carried out by hostels that accommodate offenders in Northern Ireland and the contribution they are making towards local public protection arrangements in an inspection report published today.  The report on the hostels, which are officially known as approved premises, found that risk management issues were taken very seriously by each of the facilities.  They report confirms Inspectors had found evidence of good practice during the course of the inspection.  A number of recommendations have been made by CJI’s Inspectors to further enhance current arrangements.
A report of an inspection of Hydebank Wood Young Offender Centre (YOC) carried out by CJI and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons has indicated the YOC is struggling to deal with managing the needs of a variety of remanded and sentenced young men and juveniles.  The YOC, which is located on a site shared with Ash House, Northern Ireland’s women’s prison, was found not to be performing effectively when Inspectors visited the facility last November.
CJI has welcomed the Action Plan published by the Department of the Environment in response to its inspection of Enforcement within the DoE. Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice said it was heartening to see the commitment demonstrated by the DoE to taking the recommendations contained in the inspection report forward.  “We look forward to revisiting the DoE and its Executive Agencies to assess the progress made against this Action Plan in the future,” he said.
A new inspection report on Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI) has recommended the organisation is now ready to seek accreditation under the Government Protocol for Community-Based Restorative Justice.  The inspection carried out by CJI found that progress had been made by the CRJI to address the recommendations made by the Inspectorate in its pre-inspection report published in October 2007.
A report on corporate governance arrangements within the Youth Justice Agency has been published today by CJI.  The report confirms that sound structures and corporate governance arrangements exist within the agency. Please follow the link to read or download an electronic version of the report.
Robust targeted enforcement is the key to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on Northern Ireland’s roads according to a joint inspection report on Roads Policing by CJI and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).  The report which makes nine recommendations for improvement to the PSNI also includes an action plan from the Police Service setting out how the organisation plans to tackle the issues raised by both Inspectorates.  Inspectors from CJI and HMIC teamed up with representatives of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate for this inspection to provide an all-island perspective on roads policing.  This is the first time inspectors from jurisdictions in northern and southern Ireland have worked together.  Brendan McGuigan said CJI was delighted to have the input of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate on this particular topic as many of the problems encountered on Northern Ireland’s roads were shared by the Republic of Ireland.  A separate report by the Garda Síochána Inspectorate is due to be published in the near future.
CJI and HMCIP have published a joint inspection of Ash House, Northern Ireland’s women’s prison.  The report recognised the work being carried out by Prison Service staff to mitigate the fact that Ash House is inappropriately located within the male young offenders centre site at Hydebank Wood, but Inspectors have once again urged the Prison Service to establish a separate women’s facility to meet the specific needs of female prisoners. 
A joint review of Scientific Support Services within the PSNI carried out by Criminal Justice Inspection and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has welcomed the steady progress made by police to improve its services. CJI’s Chief Inspector Kit Chivers indicated that the Inspectorates were please to see a further five recommendations had been fully achieved and another nine recommendations had been significantly progressed since Scientific Services were last examined 12 months ago. He added that Inspectors were assured the PSNI viewed Scientific Support Services as critical to the investigation and detection of crime, and that it will undertake further work to achieve the completion of all outstanding recommendations
Paul Mageean leaves CJI | 30/05/2008
Paul Mageean has left his post with the CJI inspection team to take up a new appointment as Director of the University of Ulster’s new Graduate School of Professional Legal Education based at Magee College, Derry/Londonderry.  Paul has been a valued member of CJI’s staff since his appointment in June 2005.  Paul takes with him the best wishes of the Chief Inspector, Deputy Chief Inspector, his colleagues in the Inspection team and all other members of staff at CJI as he commences his new role.
Criminal Justice Inspection has published its first inspection report of the purpose-built Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre.  Inspectors reported that Woodlands was a well-managed facility that struck a good balance between caring for difficult children and addressing their offending behaviour.  Copies of the report can be downloaded or viewed here.
Minister Paul Goggins MP announced that he had asked CJI to conduct an independent review of the arrangements for assessing and testing life sentence prisoners prior to their release.  Responding to the announcement Kit Chivers said: “I see this review as an important opportunity to provide the Minister and the public with an independent view of the arrangements that are currently in place.  I hope the review will assist the Prison Service and other agencies in providing arrangements that will enhance public protection in Northern Ireland in the future.”
CJI has published a follow-up review of its inspection of Benefit Investigation Services (BIS) within the Social Security Agency (SSA). The review, which assessed the progress made by the agency in addressing recommendations made in its 2006 report, found that good progress had been made and 15 recommendations had been achieved.  Speaking following the publication of the report, Kit Chivers said: “CJI welcomes the commitment and effort the Benefit Investigation Service and the Social Security Agency have put into progressing the recommendations contained in the original inspection report. The work undertaken to date will undoubtedly enhance their contribution to the criminal justice system and help BIS and the SSA make the best use of the information and resources available to it to tackle benefit fraud in Northern Ireland in the most effective way.”
Criminal Justice Inspection has praised the work being undertaken by Belfast Harbour Police to improve the policing service it offers within the harbour estate in an inspection report published today.
Kit Chivers and Tom McGonigle spoke at a conference on Women in the Justice System organised by the NI Prison Service at Hillsborough Castle.
Criminal Justice Inspection has published the results of its 2008 Omnibus Survey.  The survey, which was carried out on behalf of CJI by NISRA in January, has found that public awareness of the organisations remains steady with around one in four people survey having heard of CJI.   It has also shown that public confidence in the Inspectorate’s to act independently of Government has grown by 15% compared with the previous year.  The full results of the survey can be viewed by following the link above.
Kit Chivers and Dame Nuala O’Loan addressed a seminar hosted by the Irish School of Ecumenics in west Belfast.   The seminar was part of the Moral Maze series supported by Belfast City Council.  During his speech which looked at restoring relationships, Kit warned that it would be wrong to look to the criminal justice system to bear the whole responsibility for resolving the legacy of the Troubles.  Instead he suggested that consideration be given to establishing a negotiated framework of official forgiveness through which all parties including the authorities could acknowledge responsibility in generic terms for things done which with hindsight they regret.  The full text of Kit’s speech can be viewed by clinking on this link.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has advertised to recruit a successor to Kit Chivers as Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice, when Kit retires at the end of July. For further information on this post, please visit www.penna.com/recruitment quoting the reference number 26694.  The closing date for applications is Thursday 8 May 2008.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) has unveiled its Business Plan for 2008-09.  The plan outlines the work the Inspectorate intends to undertake during the coming financial year.
Paula McCullough joins CJI as an Administrative Support Officer
Kit Chivers was a panel speaker, along with ACC Paul Leighton, Prison Director Robin Masefield, Victim Support’s Susan Reid and Guardian columnist Erwin James, at the Probation Board’s Centenary Celebration at the Galgorm Resort Centre near Ballymena.  Kit spoke about the growing importance of the Probation Service as the lead agency in assessing the danger posed by offenders.
Criminal Justice Inspection has published a follow-up review of its inspection report on the provision of care for victims and witnesses in Northern Ireland. The report notes that 25 of the 37 recommendations made in the Inspectorate’s original 2005 report have been achieved, but it has urged those involved in strengthening the existing arrangements to ensure the outstanding recommendations are implemented as soon as possible.  Chief Inspector Kit Chivers stressed the needs of victims and witnesses must continue to be given priority as they played a vital role in the criminal justice system.

Kit Chivers, Brendan McGuigan and James Corrigan James Corrigan, kit Chivers and Brendan McGuigangave evidence to the Assembly’s Environment Committee on the recommendations made by the Inspectorate in its report on Enforcement by the Department of the Environment.  They were warmly welcomed by Committee Chairman Patsy McGlone MLA.  Speaking after the event, Kit said: “Members of the Environment Committee were extremely interested in the work CJI had undertaken on road safety as well as on environmental crime.  We had a very useful exchange with the Committee and look forward to meeting with it again to discuss the DOE’s response to our report and to talk about our inspection of Roads Policing when it is published.”

 

Criminal Justice Inspection has published its first inspection report on the Youth Justice Agency’s Youth Conference Service. The inspection found the Youth Conference Service (YCS) to be delivering an effective and useful service which focuses on getting the balance right between the needs of young offenders and victims.  The report also indicated that the Youth Conference Service was nearing its capacity and would be unable to sustain its current workload of about 2000 referrals per year unless steps were taken and additional resources made available.  CJI’s Deputy Chief  Inspector, Brendan McGuigan presented the main findings of the report to an invited audience attending a simulated Youth Conference hosted by the Youth Justice Agency at Youth Action Northern Ireland in Belfast.  For further details of the event, see the separate blog entry.
Criminal Justice Inspection has launched a public survey encouraging members of local communities from across Northern Ireland to tell the Inspectorate what matters to them.  The short survey, which can be completed by following this link aims to find out directly from local people what are the main issues concerning crime and how it is dealt with that interest them.  Adverts publicising the survey and encouraging local participation have been placed in local newspapers across Northern Ireland to coincide with Criminal Justice Week.  Information received through this community engagement exercise will help CJI to shape future inspection programmes

Criminal Justice Inspection hosted its annual Stakeholder Conference at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast.  The one-day conference looked at the benefits and challenges the devolution of policing and criminal justice would present for statutory and voluntary and community organisations working within the criminal justice sector.  The conference was opened by the Attorney General, the Rt. Hon Baroness Scotland QC.  Other speakers who addressed the audience of over 100 delegates included the Lord Advocate of Scotland, the Rt. Hon Elish Angiolini QC and the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Sir Patrick Cormack MP.  They were joined by Aideen Glimore, Deputy Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice and Steve Costello, Chairman of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

During the one-day conference Kit Chivers gave his annual review during which he spoke of the work undertaken by the Inspectorate during the course of the year and examined the issue of the devolution of policing and criminal justice.  The conference also provided an opportunity for CJI to consult its stakeholders on its draft inspection programme for 2008-09.  Brendan McGuigan gave a brief overview of the topics and areas within the criminal justice system that CJI intended to inspect and review.  He encouraged delegates to help shape the organisation’s next three-year Corporate Plan by indicating the areas where they, as participants within the criminal justice system, felt the Inspectorate should focus its efforts in the future.

Kit Chivers was invited to meet President Mary McAleese at the Aras an Uachtarain as part of a group of Ombudsmen and regulators which included Human Rights Commissioner Monica McWilliams, Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson and Information Commissioner Marie Anderson.
Kit Chivers and Tom McGonigle met with a group of newly promoted Governors in the NI Prison Service to discuss current issues in the Prison Service and recommendations arising out of recent inspections.
CJI has advertised to recruit an Administration Support Officer to join its Business Support Team in Belfast.  Candidates can obtain further information on the selection criteria and the duties and responsibilities of the post by contacting Brenda Ferris at Grafton Recruitment on 028 90 895803 or via e-mail bferris@graftonrecruitment.com