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Youth Justice Strategy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 23 June 2020

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Questions (306)

Gerald Nash

Question:

306. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status the youth justice strategy; the proposed timeframe for publication of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11695/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, my colleague Minister of State David Stanton, chaired an expert steering group over the past year to assist my Department in the work of developing a new Youth Justice Strategy.

The draft Youth Justice Strategy 2020-2026, which has recently been published for public consultation, is now available on my Department's website to allow members of the public, including young people, to read it and express their views through an online questionnaire until the end of June 2020.

While next steps on the matter will be for the incoming Government, the aim has been to present the Strategy to Government by Quarter 4, 2020 with a view to publishing the completed Strategy by the end of the year.

The new Strategy includes consideration of how youth justice policy might be more closely aligned to other child and youth policies. This includes targeted policies to support children and families who experience multiple disadvantage, liaison between schools and other relevant programmes and agencies.

A particular challenge is how to ensure a dedicated service stream for the particularly difficult and hard-to-engage cohort that are a priority focus for the Youth Justice Strategy. The Strategy includes measures to address the fragmented nature of current services and programme delivery at local and national level so as to ensure a holistic response to the need of particular children at risk, in the specific family and community context, rather than separate responses to different aspects of need at different ages and stages of the family cycle.

I encourage the Deputy and anyone else interested in this issue to review the draft and provide input as part of the ongoing consultation. Further information and the draft text is available at the following address:

http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Youth_Justice_Strategy_Public_Consultation

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