More than half of the public domain documents from the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) are available to view online.
To date, Jersey Archive staff have catalogued 5,600 pdf documents and detailed descriptions of their content, as well as digital copies of the documents themselves. Witness names have been carefully redacted where appropriate.
The documents catalogued so far include the daily transcripts of the Inquiry hearings, expert evidence given to the Inquiry and general background documents used by the Inquiry. The majority of this material comes from the largest phase of the Inquiry – Phase 1a, which looked at evidence and witness testimony given by former residents of care homes and foster placements in Jersey.
The cataloguing process began in January 2018 and is part of a major project to archive all the public domain documents from the IJCI to ensure there is full and open access to all members of the local and worldwide community.
The project is due to be completed by Jersey Archive at the end of 2019 and was established in response to recommendation 8a made by the Inquiry Panel in their report, which stated that:
‘We recommend that all public domain material from the Inquiry should remain in the public domain in perpetuity, and that the archive of its documentation should be preserved for Jersey.’
Jersey Archive subsequently received over 10,000 pdf files, with some containing up to 300 pages of witness testimony, expert evidence and witness evidence.
Linda Romeril, Jersey Heritage’s Director of Archives & Collections, said: “The work to catalogue the documents submitted to the Inquiry and then transferred to Jersey Archive is a significant project. Staff are working through the files with sensitivity and care, sorting, cataloguing and indexing the material to do justice to the important, and often harrowing, aspects of Jersey’s history that they contain. They are very conscious of the personal and
distressing nature of the accounts of abuse provided by anonymous witnesses and want to ensure that these documents are treated appropriately.”
She added that through the course of the detailed cataloguing process, staff had identified some inconsistencies in the redaction of files and had been working to ensure that all material released online had been carefully read and any inconsistencies remedied before the documents were published.
The IJCI public domain documents can be viewed and downloaded from Jersey Heritage’s online catalogue.