121. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda youth diversion programmes in place across Cork city and county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24378/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The table details the position in relation to staffing and funding of Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) in Cork for the year 2019.
In relation to the broader development of these services, my Department is pursuing an Action Research Project (ARP), supported by the Research Evidence into Policy Programmes and Practice project (REPPP) in the University of Limerick, and involving some 15 selected GYDPs. The intention is to move beyond the testimonial and anecdotal evidence we have that projects work well and provide a good service, to capture precisely what specific interventions work best, document this evidence, and roll out learning across all the projects over a period of years. The actions will include:
- examination of what makes for a successful relationship between a young participant and a Youth Justice Worker (success being understood as facilitation of real change in the young person’s attitudes and life that would not otherwise happen);
- articulating the contribution that a GYDP makes in tackling crime in a community; and
- assessment of the contribution that ‘up-stream’ agencies and interventions can make to crime reduction and making appropriate recommendations.
At present, there are some 106 GYDPs operating around the country, catering for approximately 4,000 young people every year. In general, the location of projects is linked to local needs and the levels of youth crime. The existing network of GYDPs has developed organically over three decades and I am committed to ensuring that it continues to develop so that every young person has access to these very valuable programmes, and that they are delivered to the highest standard possible.
Furthermore, I am chairing an expert Steering Group to guide the development of a new Youth Justice Strategy. One of the areas the group will look at is Diversion away from the Justice System. This will include the Garda Youth Diversion Programme and the GYDPs which act to support it.
All of this work will help to further develop and enhance, over time and as resources allow, the approach to the location of new projects, in Co. Cork and elsewhere, within the overarching objective that all young people in need of such a service have access to a project in their area.
|Location||Project Name||Amount of funding allocated||Number of Youth Justice Workers Employed|
|Ballincollig Action Project||€143,208||2|