CJI praises standard of pre-sentence reports
The standard of pre-sentence reports prepared for the criminal justice system by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland has been praised by CJI Inspectors. Deputy Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan said the inspection recognised the major impact that pre-sentence reports could have for offenders both pre and post sentence as well for the public at large. View press release. View PDF report
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Around 6,000 pre-sentence reports are provide to the court each year which give an assessment of the nature of the defendant's offending, the likelihood of re-offending, the risk of harm to the public and information on a range of appropriate disposals, areas to be address and additional measures.
The inspection found that the reports were of a high quality and submitted in a timely manner. Clear arrangements were also in place for the quality control of pre-sentence reports. However, as the demand for pre-sentence reports continues to grow, the Inspectorate has recommended that the Probation Board expand its use of shorter specific sentence reports or similar which would enable Probation Officers to spend time on other work.