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Home > Children and young people in care and contact with the criminal justice system.

Carr, Nicola and Mayock, Paula (2019) Children and young people in care and contact with the criminal justice system. Dublin: Irish Penal Reform Trust.

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The report highlights that contact with the youth justice system is a particular issue for a small cohort of young people. The association between care and justice is an area of concern, particularly at the ‘higher end’ of the youth justice system, that is, when children are prosecuted in the courts and are placed in detention. This is identified as an issue for children with multiple and complex needs, many of whom are accommodated within residential care.

 

Systemic factors including the profile of care provision, the prosecution of children in care placements and the responsiveness of the youth justice system to children in care are explored.

 

This report identifies a lack of data in Ireland on the extent to which children in care come into contact with the criminal justice system. There is a lack of a coordinated policy between Tusla, care providers and An Garda Síochána in this area and the development of such a policy is recommended. The report also focuses on the transition of children from care into leaving care and aftercare and the lack of information on outcomes for this group.

 

The need for reform is outlined in 12 recommendations made in the report. These include:

  • A joint protocol aimed at addressing the involvement of children in care with the criminal justice system should be developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Irish Youth Justice Service with the involvement of An Garda Síochána and Tusla.
  • The Irish Youth Justice Service should consider adaptations to the Bail Support Scheme to ensure equity of service provision for young people in care.
  • Tusla should develop a mechanism to systematically record and report on the numbers of children in care and those in receipt of aftercare services coming into contact with the criminal justice system.
  • In its review of the Youth Justice Action Plan, the Irish Youth Justice Service should consider the specific needs of care-experienced young people.
  • Tusla should revise its guidance on Complex Needs in Aftercare to provide explicit guidance on the needs and supports required for young people in contact with the criminal justice system.
Item Type
Report
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Date
2019
Pages
61 p.
Publisher
Irish Penal Reform Trust
Place of Publication
Dublin
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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