CJI’s approach to inspection is to encourage the organisations and departments it inspects to see it as an inclusive and participative process.
CJI does not carry out inspections with the intention of ‘naming and shaming’ agencies/organisations; demotivating staff or damaging confidence in the justice system. At all times CJI endeavours to use inspection as a tool to secure improvement across the system acting as an independent, impartial, professional ‘critical friend.’
Should CJI find evidence during the course of an inspection of poor management or practice, where an organisation shows little commitment or capacity to improve, it will however not hesitate to say so in the interests of protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system as a whole and public confidence in it.
Criminal Justice Inspection has a core team of Inspectors who have a wide range of experience and in depth knowledge relating to the agencies that make up the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.
CJI has developed strong links with Inspectorates based in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
The Inspectorate will often work in partnership with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMCIP); Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI); and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).
It has also worked with the Northern Ireland Regulatory and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA); Northern Ireland’s Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI); the Office of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY); the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC); and the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO).
Partnerships have also been established with Inspectorates in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and other jurisdictions across Europe. CJI is also keen to forge links with other parts of the world.
This flexible and mutually beneficial working arrangement enables CJI to secure the services and experience of other Inspectorates and other experts/consultants in specialised fields to supplement the knowledge and skills of CJI’s core inspection group as appropriate.
This ensures that every inspection carried out by CJI is rigorous and conducted to the highest professional standard taking into account best practice and developments in relation to criminal justice that have been implemented elsewhere.
CJI’s inspection reports therefore are comprehensive, authorative and of high quality so members of the public and the criminal justice system itself can be assured that the Inspectorate is working to improve the system and in the interests of ensuring Northern Ireland’s criminal justice system and the agencies it inspects are innovative and working to a world class standard.