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Question

558. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice the plan that has succeeded the Youth Justice Action Plan 2014-2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37484/21]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): In April, Minister McEntee and I launched the Youth Justice Strategy 2021 - 2027, which is the successor to the Youth Justice Action Plan referred to by the Deputy.
The Strategy includes the full range of issues connected to children and young people at risk of coming into contact with the criminal justice system, including early intervention and preventative work, family support and diversion from crime, through to court process and facilities, supervision of offenders, detention and reintegration, and support post release.  
The Strategy strengthens and expands the role of the Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) and promotes appropriate linkages and alignment with other community-based initiatives, including those supported by the Probation Service. Bringing the full range of relevant interventions together in a coherent and holistic response to youth crime will support the objective of diverting young people from crime and anti-social behaviour.
There are currently 105 GYDPs nationally and the intention is to further develop this service so that it is available to every child in the State who could benefit from it, through an ongoing expansion of existing services and the foundation of new projects where necessary.
The Strategy also provides that, where necessary, GYDPs can provide a broader range of services, including family support and engagement with children aged 8-12 years, as well as developing enhanced approaches to engaging with harder to reach children and young people who may have more entrenched patterns of offending.
The Youth Justice Strategy provides a framework to:
- prevent offending behaviour occurring;
- divert children and young adults who commit a crime away from further offending and involvement with the criminal justice system; and
- enhance criminal justice processes, detention and post-detention measures, to provide consistent support to encourage desistance from crime and promote positive personal development for young offenders.
The Strategy is available on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Youth_Justice_Strategy_2021-2027.pdf/Files/Youth_Justice_Strategy_2021-2027.pdf.