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 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 of life within communities and enhancing Garda and 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. There is one Garda youth diversion project in County Donegal, currently operating in Raphoe. A proposal for a diversion project in Inishowen will be examined within the context of available resources.