Criminal Justice Inspection focuses on delivery
The Corporate Plan provides a strategic look at the inspection programme over the next three years while the Business Plan sets out more precisely the objectives and targets for the year and the resources which CJI propose to deploy to achieve them.
“As an organisation we plan to build on the good work that has been achieved to date by working in partnership to deliver a high quality, independent and impartial inspection programme working towards our ultimate of building a better justice system for all,” said Brendan McGuigan, Deputy Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice.
The proposed inspection programme sees a continuation of a number of areas that have been at the forefront of CJI’s work. CJI will be examining issues with regard to young people, the treatment of victims and witnesses and significant issues arising from avoidable delay within the justice system. A number of agency specific inspections can be considered within this context.
In addition, and in line with Ministerial priorities, CJI will continue to focus on the work of the Northern Ireland Prison Service particularly in relation to oversight of the reform programme and the impact of the changes on outcomes for prisoners – a key measure of success. The organisation will also take a more strategic look at some of the key challenges facing the justice system including the reduction of re-offending and the difficult issue of dealing with persistent offenders.
A third objective of CJI is to provide independent assessment to Ministers and the wider community on the working of the criminal justice system.
“The inspection programme is challenging, ambitious and comprehensive, but I believe that the work of the Inspectorate to date and the relationships we have developed across the justice system and beyond provide a firm basis for ensuring its successful implementation,” said Mr McGuigan.
Looking to the future, Mr McGuigan said: “Going forward the focus will be on delivery issues – what has been called the making a “devolution difference”. In practical terms, this will mean much greater scrutiny by politicians and others on the outcomes provided by the justice agencies and the services provided to the people of Northern Ireland.
“CJI is committed to working with justice organisations to provide an honest and independent reflection of the strengths and weaknesses of the justice system, highlighting areas of good practice and providing a basis upon which a shared improvement agenda can be implemented moving forward,” he concluded.