Criminal Justice Inspection looks to the future

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland has unveiled its Corporate Plan for the next three years and its Business Plan for 2006-07.

The plans underpin Criminal Justice Inspection’s commitment to assisting agencies within the criminal justice system to become more effective and efficient and its aim to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system.
“In these plans we have demonstrated our commitment to pursue a wide-ranging and balanced inspection programme, addressing the issues raised with us by our stakeholders,” said Kit Chivers, the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice.
“We have already made plans to begin work on 13 different inspections in 2006-07, taking into account the feedback we received at our one-day conference in January,” he said.
Among the areas to be Inspected this year are the Public Prosecution Service, a review of hate crime, how the police handle the most common types of crime (volume crime), and the policies and procedures around the disclosure of evidence to defence solicitors.
In addition, CJI will be carrying out eight Action Plan reviews following on from previous Inspections.
As part of the Corporate Plan for 2006-09, Criminal Justice Inspection has reviewed the range of regulatory agencies included in its original remit and has recommended the exclusion of the agencies which come fall within the field of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Looking to the future, Mr Chivers said: “The next three years contain many uncertainties. We do not know whether the Legislative Assembly will be revived and, if it is, when responsibility for criminal justice may be devolved, or how criminal justice matters would be handled within any new Executive.
“But whatever constitutional developments there may be, the underlying challenges for improving efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, guaranteeing its even-handedness and thereby increasing public confidence in the system and willingness to participate in it, will remain,” he concluded.