· New projects designed to prevent and tackle youth crime
· Minister also announces first phase of a new pilot mentoring service for young people
· €1.7 million in funding from Dormant Account being provided for new youth justice initiatives
7th January, 2016
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality has today announced that seven new Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDP) will commence operations in early 2016. The Minister today also announced the rollout of the first phase of a new pilot mentoring service for young people coming to the attention of An Garda Síochána. In total, €1.7 million is being allocated from the Dormant Account Funding to support these new youth justice initiatives
The seven new Garda Youth Diversion Projects will be located in the following areas:
· Athy, Co. Kildare
· Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
· Donnycarney/Fairview/Clontarf, Dublin City
· Kilbarrack/Killester/Raheny, Dublin City
· Naas, Co. Kildare
· Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
· Rathkeale, Co. Limerick
The Minister’s announcement follows on from a recently completed selection process for service providers to operate the new projects.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: “The commencement of these seven new projects delivers on my commitment to expand the number of Garda Youth Diversion Projects nationwide from 100 to 110.”
The first three new projects were established in 2015 in Carrigaline, Co. Cork and in Kilmainham and Lucan in Dublin.
Over €1.2 million is being made available from the Dormant Accounts Fund towards the costs of operating the ten new projects in 2016. The projects were included in the 2014 Dormant Accounts Action Plan adopted by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government. The projects will also be included in the European Social Fund (ESF) Programme for Employability Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020. They will therefore also be supported by funding from the European Union.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: “There has been significant progress made in tackling youth crime over the recent years. However it is important to acknowledge that additional crime prevention and crime reduction efforts such as the Garda Youth Diversion Projects are needed in areas with a high level of youth crime and in areas where an increase in the youth population raises the risks of increasing levels of youth crime.”
“The new community-based, multi-agency projects I am announcing today will support An Garda Síochána in their proactive effort to work with young people to divert them from becoming involved in anti-social and/or criminal behaviour. “
Minister Fitzgerald also announced the roll-out of the first phase of a pilot mentoring service for young people coming to the attention of An Garda Síochána. For the initial pilot phase, mentoring services will be made available to forty two Garda Youth Diversion Projects. The Minister indicated that it is intended to expand the pilot during the year. €500,000 in Dormant Account funding is being made available towards the costs of operating the pilot in 2016.
The Minister said that “These new initiatives demonstrate this Government’s commitment to preventing and reducing youth crime and to supporting An Garda Síochána in the excellent work that they do with young people who are at risk of, or who become involved in, criminal or anti-social behaviour.”