Target setting and performance Management

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) has today published the report of a thematic inspection of target setting and performance management in the six main criminal justice agencies in Northern Ireland – the PSNI, the Public Prosecution Service, the Court Service, the Prison Service, the Probation Board and the Youth Justice Agency. 

The report makes seven recommendations, which can be summarised as follows:
1. Give the Criminal Justice Board a clearer role in co-ordinating target-setting for the system as a whole.

2. Pay more attention to the targets being set by similar agencies in other jurisdictions.

3. Identify a few key targets to publicise for each agency.

4. Apply more ‘science’ to the business of setting targets.

5. Make sure the targets are stretching:  there needs to be more challenge in the system.

6. Involve staff more in the process of setting targets.

7. Organise public consultation over the setting of targets better. 


Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Kit Chivers said:
“Every organisation nowadays is expected to use targets as a way of driving up performance.  But as we know from the Health Service, target setting is a difficult art.  There are lots of ways of getting it wrong, and ending up with targets that have perverse effects.   It is understandable that people are therefore often sceptical.
“This report goes to the heart of how the criminal justice agencies are managed and how their work is co-ordinated on behalf of Ministers.  It will be read very widely in the criminal justice community.  This report will help the agencies to improve their targets.  Its impact will begin to show in their plans for 2006-07.”
Notes for editors
The report Target setting and performance management in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland (ISBN 1-905283-05-9) is published by Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland.  Copies are available free of charge from: 
7th floor, 14 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BA
or on the website under ‘publications’.
Enquiries to Dan Mulholland on 028 9025 8014.
Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland
14 Great Victoria Street
BT2 7BA                                                      
028 9025 8000 (fax 8033)