Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (35)

Willie Penrose


32 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of juvenile liaison officers in the gardaí at the latest date for which figures are available; if he has plans to extend the scheme in view of the proven success of it in dealing with juvenile offenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6244/04]

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

I have been informed by the Garda authorities who are responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, that as at 23 February 2004 there are 85 JLO gardaí and eight JLO sergeants working in the various divisions throughout the country. In addition to this, the National Juvenile Office has a staff of one superintendent, two inspectors, two sergeants and four civilians.

Part 4 of the Children Act 2001 came into law in May 2002. This effectively placed the Garda juvenile diversion programme on a statutory basis for the first time in its 40 year history. Included in the Act is the introduction into the criminal justice system of the concept of restorative justice and family conferencing, the provisions of which are currently being put into effect by the Garda Síochána.

The diversion programme is delivered throughout the country by specially trained gardaí. Resource implications are constantly under review and applications for additional resources are made on a case by case basis when and where necessary.