Written answers

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Detention Centres Data

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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355. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if safety at the national children's detention facility in Oberstown is deteriorating for staff and residents, the number of notifiable incidents recorded in the past 12 months, the number of assault and injury days used in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44872/15]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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The children detention schools aim to provide safe and secure custody for children to the greatest extent possible, thanks to the ongoing efforts of management and staff working together. I have previously underlined that any and all incidents resulting in assault and injury to staff or young people are to be condemned and there is no “acceptable” level of assault or injury in a children detention school. Unfortunately, the risk of injury cannot be excluded completely, given the nature of a children detention school. The trend of incidents in this area, the level of supports available and the lessons learned from each incident are kept under ongoing review by campus management. This is done as part of the normal operational management on the campus on a weekly basis. It is also linked to the issue of ongoing training and development and ensuring that appropriate staffing levels are in place.

A notifiable incident policy is in place on the Oberstown campus and this can be viewed on the website of the Irish Youth Justice Service at www.iyjs.ie. I am arranging for a copy of the policy to be forwarded to the Deputy.

The policy sets out 3 categories of notifiable incident, as follows:

- Grade 1 - this is the most serious situation requiring emergency action and immediate reporting to the Director, my Department and any other emergency contacts at any time of the day or night.

- Grade 2 - this is a critical incident which requires immediate reporting to the Director and immediate reporting to my Department between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight. The Director will make the decision if additional emergency contacts need to be informed.

- Grade 3 - these incidents are the lowest grade of situations dealt with under this grading scale. Whilst still being significant, such incidents should not involve the emergency services; should not involve any serious injuries and should not involve any serious property damage.

I am advised that over the 12 month period from 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2015, there were a total of 102 incidents reported under the notifiable incident policy. Of these, there was 1 incident reported under grade 1, 46 incidents reported under grade 2 and 55 incidents reported under grade 3.

Over the same period, there were a total of 3005 employee days used across 65 individual employees under the assault and injury policy which is currently in place.

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