The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Brian Lenihan, T.D., today announced that he has approved the establishment of 12 new Garda Youth Diversion Projects.

The locations of the 12 new projects are:


The Minister approved the locations of the twelve projects on the basis of local needs as prioritised by the Garda Commissioner.

Making the announcement the Minister said "I am delighted to announce the establishment of these 12 new Garda Youth Diversion Projects, bringing the current total to 93 projects operating throughout the country. This represents significant progress towards fulfilling the pledge made by the Government to increase the number of Garda Youth Diversion Projects in Ireland to 100 by the end of this year. I am confident that the target of 100 projects established before 2008 is an attainable one.

The goal of the Garda Youth Diversion Projects is to prevent young people who are at risk of becoming involved in (or further involved in) criminal and/or anti-social behaviour from continuing in this manner and coming to the attention of the criminal justice system."

Minister Lenihan continued "The Government and I have demonstrated our firm belief that the Garda Youth Diversion Projects play a core role in diverting young people away from crime. We have demonstrated this both financially and practically.

We have increased the budgetary funding to the projects by almost 50%, from €6.6m in 2006 to €9.8m this year and by the allocation in excess of €100m under the National Development Plan and a commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the number of Garda Youth Diversion projects to 168."

Of the twelve new projects 5 are located in RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) areas.

The Minister also referred to the increase by 28 in the number of Juvenile Liaison Officers over the next four years which will bring the total nationwide to 123. Minister Lenihan said "I am also pleased to announce today that 6 new Juvenile Liaison Officers will be appointed shortly in Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Cork North, Waterford, Newbridge/Naas and Sligo/Leitrim. The work done by Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers makes a significant contribution to the lives and the families of young people in our communities who offend."

 

10 September 2007

 

Note to Editors

Garda Youth Diversion Projects are a community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiative, which seek to divert young persons from becoming involved - or further involved - in anti-social and/or criminal behaviour by providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development, promote civic responsibility and improve long-term employability prospects.  By doing so, the projects also contribute to improving the quality of life within communities and enhancing Garda/community relations.  The projects are funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and are administered by the Community Relations Section of the Garda Síochána.

The RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) Programme is a focused Government initiative to target the 46 most disadvantaged areas in the country.  The Programme aims to ensure that priority attention is given to tackling the spatial concentration of poverty and social exclusion within the 46 designated areas through targeting state resources, available under the National Development Plan.  The Programme also calls on Government Departments and State Agencies to bring about better co-ordination and closer integration in the delivery of services.  A full list of RAPID areas is available on www.pobail.ie.