Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Detention Centres Places
80. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs his views on the lack of beds in juvenile detention centres for juveniles who have been convicted, but have to be discharged due to the bed shortage. [4005/15]
The 3 children detention schools, located at Oberstown, Lusk, Co. Dublin, currently provide a total of 46 detention places for young people ordered to be remanded in custody or committed to serve a sentence of detention by the courts. These comprise 6 places for girls up to the age of 18 on admission and 40 places for boys up to the age of 17 on admission. Boys aged 17 on admission are currently accommodated by the Irish Prison Service. This practice will cease, meeting the commitment in the Programme for Government to end the practice of detaining children in adult prison facilities, with the new children detention facilities currently being constructed to extend the capacity of the Oberstown campus. It is intended that this will provide sufficient accommodation for all children under 18 years of age ordered to be detained by the courts.
In the interim, pending introduction of the expanded facilities, the existing facilities at Oberstown are being used to meet demand from the courts. The Irish Youth Justice Service of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs operates a twenty four hour bed management service for children detention places, with the aim of having the maximum degree of coordination in this area. This service is available at all times to courts, the Probation Service and the Garda Síochána to asssess the up to date position with regard to the availability of places. This is a demand led service and every effort is made to meet the needs of the courts in this area.