Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ceisteanna (710)

Bernard Durkan


710. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the extent to which facilities of a corrective and rehabilitative nature are available to those involved in juvenile crime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21579/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I assume the Deputy is referring to facilities within the children detention school system operating on the Oberstown campus at Lusk, Co. Dublin.

As prescribed under Section 158 of the Children Act 2001, as amended, the principal object of the children detention schools is to provide appropriate education, training and other programmes and facilities for children referred to them by the courts. The delivery of children detention services is focused on education and rehabilitation of those young people detained in order to address offending behaviour and support their early re-integration into the community. The development project which is currently underway on the Oberstown campus to increase capacity and enable the extension of the child care model of detention to all children under the age of 18 ordered to be detained by the courts also includes the provision of new education and recreation facilities as well as dedicated visiting facilities and a medical facility. Along with the existing services already being provided these new facilities will ensure sufficient age and ability appropriate facilities to support the delivery, by the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB), of the necessary and vital education services to young people in detention.

An individual management plan is put in place for each child on admission to the children detention schools which includes an assessment using a mental health screening tool to determine the need for more specialist assessment or intervention from specialists within the Assessment, Consultation and Therapy Service (ACTS). This is a national service provided by the Child and Family Agency that provides clinical services to children in detention and in special care, as well as short term interventions when the child returns to the community.

The Deputy should note that earlier community based interventions to divert young people from offending behaviour, such as the Garda Youth Diversion Projects and the Garda Diversion Programme, which aim to engage young people in a process of learning and development that enables them to make positive lifestyle choices are the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality.