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Question

41. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the Greentown programme; and when the report will be released. [45788/18]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Greentown Report”, about the influence of criminal networks on children in Ireland, was produced by the REPPP Project, (Research Evidence into Policy, Programmes and Practice), at the School of Law in the University of Limerick (UL), and was published in December 2016. The REPPP project is a strategic research partnership between UL and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and it also receives project funding from my own Department.
The Greentown Report identifies crime networks as a separate and plausible risk factor underlying criminal offending by certain children. It outlines how the influence of criminal networks increases the level of offending by a small number of children and entraps them in offending situations.
In the absence of international models of intervention that could be readily deployed, the original Greentown report recommended the design of a programme to include interventions with children and their families to help them withstand the influence of criminal networks. The REPPP project team implemented a bespoke design process to produce a model for an Irish evidence-informed intervention programme. This new “Greentown Programme” has been designed with the input of leading international expertise on crime and criminal networks, together with Irish scientific, policy and practice expertise in child protection and welfare, drugs and community development.
I understand that proposals for a Greentown Programme intervention model are expected to be finalised early in 2019. I am also advised that it is intended to commence a trial of the Greentown Programme approach, on a pilot basis, in one locality during 2019.
In addition, the Deputy may wish to note that further development of this work has seen the initial Greentown case study being repeated in two new locations and a national survey of specialist Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLOs) has been carried out to gauge the prevalence of the issues identified.
I understand that the two case studies will be completed by the end of 2018 with the intention that the outcome of the case studies and the results of the national JLO survey will be published in 2019.