Home > An inspection of prisoner resettlement by the Northern Ireland Prison Service.

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland. (2011) An inspection of prisoner resettlement by the Northern Ireland Prison Service. Belfast: Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.

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The purpose of ‘resettlement’ is to help prisoners deal with problems that have contributed to their offending. These can include issues such as health, education, criminal attitudes, relationships and employment. Resettlement services are therefore an important part of helping to reduce re-offending behaviours and it is a considerable challenge for the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) to deliver them effectively. This inspection is a follow-up to the last report on the Northern Ireland Prisoner Resettlement Strategy completed in 2007.

The inspection report shows the resettlement process has benefitted from the resources that were provided to implement the Criminal Justice Order. Improvements have been identified in relation to the appointment of additional staff, co-located offender management teams that were working well together, a better environment for some life sentence prisoners, better engagement with the voluntary and community sector and greater effort to address the resettlement needs of short-term and remand prisoners.

Whilst the resettlement process had improved, better outcomes for prisoners were less obvious. This was partly a reflection of the NIPS inclination to measure inputs rather than outcomes which are the real test of whether services are being delivered successfully. In addition the successful delivery of resettlement remained hampered by working practices within the Service and its dominant security ethos. Every aspect of prisoner life contributes to the resettlement agenda and it is important that the Strategic Efficiency and Effectiveness (SEE) programme currently being developed by the Prison Service to enable reform, explicitly deals with the resettlement agenda. Our recommendations for change need to be folded into the reform agenda.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
56 p.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland
Corporate Creators
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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