Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
I propose to take Questions Nos. 282 and 283 together.
The programme for Government states that we will end the practice of detaining children aged 16 and 17 years old in St. Patrick's Institution. I have been informed that as of Wednesday 15 June 2011, there were 41 males aged 16 and 17 years old residing in St. Patrick's Institution. Responsibility for the development and provision of safe, secure accommodation for all children ordered to be detained by the Courts rests with the Irish Youth Justice Service, and this service will shortly come under the remit of my colleague Ms. Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.
Designs for the new National Children Detention Facilities to be constructed on the Oberstown campus are well advanced and Government approval to tender for the construction of the project will be required. The construction of the facilities is to take place on a phased basis. Phase 1 of the project will prioritise the provision of sufficient safe, secure detention places to allow for the transfer of responsibility for 16 and 17 year old boys from the Irish Prison Service.