743. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice when the new youth justice strategy will be implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10306/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): Minister McEntee and I will shortly be bringing to Government and publishing a new Youth Justice Strategy to cover the period from now until 2026. It includes consideration of 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 processes and facilities, supervision of offenders, detention and reintegration and support post release.
The measures in the Strategy are premised on the need to maximise opportunities to promote positive behavioural change and desistance from offending. This will require a sustained commitment to collaborative working between State agencies and community partners, as well as a commitment to prioritise resource allocation to address factors connected to early involvement in criminal activity and more serious offending patterns.
The Strategy will strengthen and expand the role of the Garda Youth Diversion Projects and other community-based initiatives, including those working with 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.
The Youth Justice Strategy will provide 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;
- 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.