Home > Report of proceedings: a Garda youth diversion projects annual conference 2019.

Egan, Annabel (2020) Report of proceedings: a Garda youth diversion projects annual conference 2019. Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality.

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The 2019 Garda Youth Diversion Projects Annual Conference took place in the Croke Park Conference Centre on 6 November. The event was attended by over 300 delegates from all over the country including Youth Justice Workers, Members of An Garda Síochána, Action Research Project, Department of Justice and Equality, Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other relevant organisations. 

The conference offered delegates an opportunity to reflect on their own practice and experience, to learn from each other and to contribute to the development of the Garda Youth Diversion Programme as well as the future direction of youth justice policy in Ireland. The conference opening address was delivered by Minister of State David Stanton. This was followed by a comprehensive update from the Department of Justice and Equality delivered by Deaglán Ó Briain, Principal, Criminal Policy and Community Safety. 

The first guest speaker to address the conference in the morning was Noeline Blackwell. Noeline Blackwell is a human rights lawyer and CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. She has previously worked as the Director of FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) and as a solicitor in private practice. She was a member of the Commission on the Future of Policing. She currently sits on the boards of the Immigrant Council of Ireland and Front Line Defenders. 

Her address was followed by presentations delivered by Chief Superintendent Collette Quinn, Director of the Youth Diversion Programme, the Action Research Project team in the University of Limerick and the Best Practice Development Team in the Department of Justice and Equality.

In the afternoon, delegates were divided into small groups of up to 15 to 20 persons to engage in facilitated discussion of a total of nine topics that were identified by the Department as of particular relevance/interest to delegates on the basis of the results of a pre-conference survey. 

These topics were (in alphabetical order):

  • Action research project
  • Early intervention pilot initiative
  • Family support
  • Managing trauma
  • Self-care
  • Specialist project evaluation
  • Supporting the role of the gardaí in gydps
  • Work to learn
  • Youth justice strategy

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