Is Irish the only language banned in Northern Ireland courts?

CLAIM: Only the Irish language is banned in courts in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: False. English is the working language of court proceedings in Northern Ireland; interpretation and translation services are provided for those who do not speak or understand English. Whether this policy is informed by the Penal Laws is currently contested. Continue reading Is Irish the only language banned in Northern Ireland courts?

Is there a high level of support for restorative justice?

CLAIM: There is a high level of public support for restorative justice as a method of dealing with young offenders.

CONCLUSION: According to surveys collected by NISRA and by the Public Prosecution Service, a majority of respondents support either restorative justice or diversionary options generally. Continue reading Is there a high level of support for restorative justice?

Do half of freed criminals reoffend within a year?

CLAIM: “Almost half of criminals released from prison in Northern Ireland went on to re-offend within 12 months of being freed.”

CONCLUSION: The claim is accurate. However, while the article does break down re-offending rates among criminals released from prison, the majority of offenders receive sentences that do not require time in prison. The re-offending rate for Northern Ireland in 2012/13 was 18.5% for all offenders, which is similar to the rate documented in previous years, as well as in England & Wales. Continue reading Do half of freed criminals reoffend within a year?