124. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of submissions received under the public consultation of the draft youth justice strategy; her plans for the progression of the strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16165/20]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Helen McEntee): I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Deputy’s leadership, in his term as Minister of State in my Department, in guiding the development of the new Youth Justice Strategy with the support of an expert Steering Group.
As the Deputy is aware, work to develop a new Youth Justice Strategy is a very important element in the State’s policy response to the involvement of children and young people in crime.
The public consultation process involved presenting a draft of the new Strategy, together with an on-line questionnaire, to help gauge opinions on a number of key questions.
My Department has received 360 responses directly through the online questionnaire which closed on June 30. The majority of responses to the questionnaire were individual members of the public. A further 38 written responses have been received from various stakeholders and members of the public through the email address provided as part of the online consultation. I understand that a number of additional responses are expected in the near future.
The outcome of the public consultations will inform some further engagement with relevant Departments, agencies and other key stakeholders in the Autumn, to further refine the details of the draft Strategy. It is intended that the new Strategy will be submitted for Government approval later this year.