October - December

CJI is to undertake an additional inspection during 2018-19 that examines the pre-release testing arrangements applied by the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS). These include accompanied and unaccompanied temporary release of prisoners.
The Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice has welcomed the significant progress made at Maghaberry Prison three years after it was heavily criticised in a previous inspection.

Brendan McGuigan CBE is to continue as Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland for a further 12 months.

A report on how sexual violence and abuse cases are handled by the criminal justice system has highlighted issues around the timely progression of cases and outcomes for victims.

Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan highlighted his concerns around delay and the conviction rate for cases of rape and other sexual offences as he published the Inspection report.
"There are many dedicated people within the police and prosecution services working to secure a criminal justice outcome for victims who come forward but delay is a significant problem,” said chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan.
"Delay in progressing cases from the outset mean victims are living with the trauma of what happened to them without resolution in most cases for years.
“Attrition rates are high and more must be done to understand why victims are choosing to withdraw their support for a criminal justice sanction.
“We have made nine recommendations to improve how sexual violence and abuse cases are handled, but further work is required around the principle of consent and what healthy relationships look like.
“This is not an issue the criminal justice system can solve on its own,” he concluded.