Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Child Detention Centres
719. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if her Department collates statistics on the number of children who are or have been in the care of the State who have entered the criminal justice system and are or have been detained in Oberstown or St. Patrick’s Institution. [55581/13]
Beginning in early 2013, the Irish Youth Justice Service commenced the collection of additional information on the admission of children into the children detention schools in Oberstown, relating to whether the child in question has an assigned social worker and whether the child is the subject of a care order under the Child Care Acts. For example, as of 13 January 2014 there were 29 children resident in the children detention schools in Oberstown, Lusk, Co Dublin. 19 of the children concerned had an assigned social worker and 9 were the subject of a care order under the Child Care Acts.
While there have been no specific statistical analyses or reports published as of yet by my Department in this area, I can inform the Deputy that one of the high level goals in the forthcoming Tackling Youth Crime - Youth Justice Action Plan 2014-2018, which has been developed by the Irish Youth Justice Serviceand which is to be published shortly, is "To strengthen and develop our evidence base to support more effective policies and services, having regard to the voice of young people". To achieve this objective, the Irish Youth Justice Service will develop data and promote research in this area. The Irish Youth Justice Service will also work with the Child and Family Agency to improve coordination between youth justice services and secure residential facilities for children.
The provision of statistics in relation to St. Patrick’s Institution are the responsibility of my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Irish Prison Service.