Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter recently published ‘Tackling Youth Crime’, the Action Plan dealing with the issue of youth justice.
The goal remains the reduction in the number of young persons in detention by ensuring the continuation of the downward trend in volume of young persons committing crime. Fitzgerald said that ‘the Government has grasped the challenge of ensuring that proper facilities will be available in a suitable setting’ and added that the first stage of Oberstown, the new National Children’s Detention Facility, would open in the first quarter of this year.
This facility represents a €50 million commitment by Government to addressing the concerns raised about the detention of 16 and 17 year-old boys in prisons and adult facilities.
The Action Plan continues the emphasis on the use of intervention, taking a multi-agency view encompassing the Irish Youth Justice Service, criminal justice agencies as well as education, health, social and voluntary agencies. The Action Plan will comprise part of the National Anti-Crime Strategy currently being developed at the Department of Justice as part of the White Paper process.
The use of data to maximise the optimal use of resources is a feature of the Action Plan, related to the targeting of Garda Youth Diversion Projects. Further, the use of research projects related to life-course offending and locally collected qualitative data will be fed into decisions on youth justice.
Read the report here.
Statement available here.