Home > Discussion document. Diversion for young adults ages 18-24 years. Initial outline of issues for consideration.

Ireland. Department of Justice. (2022) Discussion document. Diversion for young adults ages 18-24 years. Initial outline of issues for consideration. Dublin: Department of Justice.

PDF (Diversion for young adults ages 18-24 years Initial Outline of Issues for consideration)

External website: https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/bd086-consultat...

The Minister of State for Law Reform, James Browne TD, launched the new Youth Justice Strategy 2021-2027 with the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD in April 2021. The Strategy, a key commitment under Justice Plan 2021, is designed to provide a developmental framework to address key ongoing challenges, as well as new and emerging issues in the youth justice area. The Department of Justice is now seeking opinions on appropriate diversion processes for young adults aged 18-24 who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The Programme for Government commits to assessing potential diversionary programmes for this cohort, and it is also a key commitment in the Youth Justice Strategy.

What we are consulting on
Young adults aged 18-24 are disproportionately represented in the prison population with 20% of prison population in that age group compared with 9% of general population. They also have the highest rates of reoffending on release from prison with 68.5% of people aged under 21 years and 68% of those aged 21–25 years re-offending, compared with 53% of the rest of the population. It is well recognised internationally that full brain maturity is not achieved until about age 24/25, and that more considered responses by justice systems for this age group may produce better results.
Diversion has been in place for young people under 18 for many years. At present a young person under 18 who commits an offence can be given access to the Garda Diversion Programme including supervision by a Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer. A diversion system can provide a second chance and to enable people to avoid prosecution, and a criminal record. There may also be a role for community projects, which can assist people to make positive life choices. Where a person is prosecuted, the court may provide for supervision in the community by the Probation Service, which can provide links to additional supports in the community. We have published a Discussion Document to seek opinions on what sort of “second chance” system might be suitable for young adults aged 18-24, and in what circumstances they might apply.

What will happen to what you tell us?
All the responses received to this survey will be reviewed and used to help it to assess how we should proceed, taking account of people’s genuine opinions and concerns. Your contribution lets you have your say on how we can improve things for the benefit of all. After all our consultation processes have finished, we will do further work with community representative organisations as well as with key agencies such as An Garda Síochána, to assess the practicalities of implementing a diversion system for young adults.

Submissions close: 17 January 2023

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
November 2022
20 p.
Department of Justice
Corporate Creators
Ireland. Department of Justice
Place of Publication

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