236. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 43 of 19 October 2017, if An Garda Síochána has concluded its comprehensive review of all youth referrals between 2010 and 2017; if the report has been sent to the Garda Commissioner; if not, when it will be sent to him; and when it will be published. [5410/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Garda Youth Diversion Programme is an essential part of Government strategy to help tackle youth crime, and it is very important that it operates effectively.
As the Deputy is aware, a number of issues which impact on the effective administration of the Diversion Programme were identified following the completion, in June 2017, of an examination by the Garda Professional Services Unit (GPSU), and the Garda authorities subsequently initiated a comprehensive review of all youth referrals between 2010 and 2017.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that a Review Team has been tasked with coordinating this review, which covers all of the 28 Garda Divisions. I can assure the Deputy that I share his concern that these issues are thoroughly addressed, and I have requested the Acting Commissioner to ensure that present Review is completed as soon as possible.
I have also written to the Policing Authority, in the context of their oversight role of An Garda Síochána, to share my concerns in this matter.