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MPs to quiz inspectors on the criminal justice system’s recovery from covid disruption

13 May 2022

The Justice Committee will question the inspectorates of services including the police, CPS, prisons and probation on the Government’s progress in restoring standards in the criminal justice system to pre-pandemic levels.

The session on 17 May follows the release of a report by the four inspectorates, acting as the Joint Criminal Justice Inspectorates. 

The report found that: “While the constraints on daily life have now been dropped, the CJS [Criminal Justice System] is a long way from recovery and in some parts continues to operate at unacceptable levels.  

“Prisoners still spend 22.5 hours a day in their cell; hundreds of thousands of hours of unpaid work go uncompleted in the Probation Service; and Crown Court backlogs remain high.” 

The Joint Inspectorates report also points to issues relating to high volumes of cases and overcrowding in prisons, exacerbated by problems with retention of solicitors, barristers, and prison and probation officers. 

The cross-party Committee will discuss with the Chief Inspectors of the four services what the Government should do to restore service quality, to cut court backlogs, and to return conditions in prisons to pre-pandemic levels. 

Witnesses

Tuesday 17 May

At 2:30pm 

  • Justin Russell, Chief Inspector of Probation, HM Inspectorate of Probation 
  • Charlie Taylor, Chief Inspector of Prisons, HM Inspectorate of Prisons 
  • Andy Cooke QPM DL, Chief Inspector of HM Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services 
  • Andrew Cayley, Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service 

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright