Home > Evaluation of the Bail Supervision Scheme for Children (pilot scheme).

Naughton, Catherine and Redmond, Sean and Coonan, Barry (2019) Evaluation of the Bail Supervision Scheme for Children (pilot scheme). Dublin: Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

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This report presents findings based on a comprehensive evaluation. We have structured the report for a policy audience and for readers with an informed interest. First, we present key findings, followed by an overview of the methodology and a detailed findings section. The reader can consult and examine a detailed methodology in the Appendices at their discretion.


In October 2016, following a tender process, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) commissioned Extern, the national voluntary organisation working with children and young people, to provide a Bail Supervision Scheme (BSS) for children at high risk of remand to detention in the Dublin area. DCYA intended the BSS to be a direct alternative offering to the court when considering remanding a child to Oberstown Children Detention Campus (Oberstown).


What is the bail supervision scheme?

Several jurisdictions have used bail supervision to improve bail compliance by young people, reducing reoffending and thereby reducing the demand for detention during the remand period (Redmond, 2017). However, the BSS in Ireland views the on-remand period as a potentially significant opportunity for behaviour change and differs from other jurisdictions in that it incorporates the evidence-based Multisystemic Therapy (MST) model within normal court processes. MST is an intensive family-based intervention; therapists work predominantly with the young person’s primary caregiver to facilitate sustainable pro-social change in the young person’s behaviour. MST aims to facilitate change to ensure that the young person remains at home, is in education/training/working, and is not arrested on new charges. The MST model also aims to encourage the young person towards pro-social peers/activities. To ensure that the changes achieved are sustainable, MST aims to improve family functioning and the family’s support network. It also facilitates the development of caregivers’ skill necessary to generalise the learning and handle future problems. MST aims to be flexible to fit within caregivers’ lives; it is delivered to the home and also provides caregivers with on-call support 24 hours a day, seven days a week over a three- to fivemonth period.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Harm reduction, Crime prevention, Education and training, Psychosocial treatment method
December 2019
60 p.
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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