Restorative Justice Organisations

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 22nd February 2016.

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Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton DUP 2:30 pm, 22nd February 2016

T6. Mr Newton asked the Minister of Justice to confirm whether those organisations that are involved in the restorative justice system enjoy his confidence. (AQT 3526/11-16)

Photo of David Ford David Ford Alliance

I can go only on the basis that the two key restorative justice organisations are fully accredited and inspected by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland, along with statutory elements in the justice system and the reports to me are favourable.

Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton DUP

Given that those organisations enjoy the Minister's confidence, what plans does he have for their development to increase their competence and professionalism so that they might provide an even better service to the justice system?

Photo of David Ford David Ford Alliance

Given that we are talking about voluntary organisations whose direct line of contact is not with the Department as much as with the Police Service, other agencies and voluntary sector partners, I am not sure that it is the Department's responsibility to enhance their training. It is, however, the Department's job to encourage better joined-up working, and I believe that we are doing that to ensure better professionalism among all those who work in the justice system by encouragement but not by direction.