Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (171)

Pat Breen

Question:

171 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason an application for a justice programme in Kilrush was refused; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4427/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Garda youth diversion projects are a community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiative which seek to divert young persons from becoming involved — or further involved — in anti-social and/or criminal behaviour by providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development, promote civic responsibility and improve long-term employability prospects. By doing so, the projects also contribute to improving the quality oflife within communities and enhancing Garda/community relations. I am committed to their continuing development and, as resources permit, their expansion.

The number of projects has grown from 12 in 1997 to 64 at present, a process made possible in part by funding under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The locations of the new projects were decided upon by the Garda authorities in conjunction with my Department. As the Deputy may be aware, there is a Garda youth diversion project currently operating in Ennis, County Clare, namely, the Ennis Youth Project. Funding of €103,961 was allocated to the project in the year 2003 and €30,000 has been issued to the project in the year 2004 to date. Further payments will be considered on receipt of audited accounts for the year ended December 2003 and projected expenditure figures for the current year.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that a proposal in respect of a project catering for young people between ten and 18 years in the disadvantaged area of the John Paul Estate in Kilrush was received by the Garda community relations section on 6 November 2002. Further proposals for new diversion projects will be examined within the context of available resources. The application for Kilrush will be kept under review.