VCS still making positive contribution to criminal justice system
Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan has welcomed the positive contribution made by the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to Northern Ireland’s criminal justice system in a new inspection report.
“The report acknowledges the leadership provided by the Minister of Justice to minimise the impact of financial
cuts on the VCS which offers tangible recognition of their value from the highest level. It is also reassuring to
see the Community Based Restorative Justice Schemes continuing on their journey of development and
diversification, and the respect in which they are now held.
Many larger VCS organisations are operating as businesses, delivering managed services to criminal justice
agencies. Current levels of austerity along with the considerable accountability that accompanies receipt of
public monies have placed increasing demands on everyone, especially the smaller organisations, and we suggest
there should be a more proportionate response to those that are assessed as low risk.
We make a small number of recommendations to the DoJ. These are designed to enable the delivery of even
more effective and efficient services by a vibrant and flexible voluntary and community sector in Northern
This inspection was led by Tom McGonigle and supported by Stephen Dolan. My sincere thanks to all those
individuals and organisations who participated in this inspection.”