Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the decision to introduce a new bail supervision scheme for young offenders, which will not only keep young people out of prison but is also a major set forward in further strengthening the monitoring of all those on bail.
This bail supervision scheme, which will be piloted in the Dublin area, will keep young people out of prison where many are released from with a far greater likelihood of reoffending.
“This project, which it is hoped will be rolled out across the country if successful, will keep young people out of prison and I believe it will help to break the cycle of crime within families and communities,” stated Denis Naughten.
“In tandem with this we need to target greater resources at projects such as the school completion programme, which can help to keep young people out of trouble in the first place.”
Denis Naughten added: “It is important to point out that this pilot scheme is also significant as it will see added supervision and closer monitoring of those on bail and will work with the Probation Service, An Garda Síochána and the Oberstown Children Detention Campus. It is hoped that over time such a template could be used to improve the monitoring of adults on bail and result in the greater use of the probation service as an alternative to prison, in appropriate cases.
“The current situation where there is little effective monitoring of those on bail or options other than prison, where many criminals perfect their trade, needs to change and this measure is a significant first step in the right direction.”
The Youth Justice Action Plan (2014-2018) has the development of a bail supervision scheme as one of its actions to be progressed.
The Inter-Agency Implementation Team chaired by the Irish Youth Justice Service will monitor the scheme.
Extern, a leading social justice Charity has been awarded the contract by the Irish Youth Justice Service to deliver a ‘Bail Supervision Scheme’ across Ireland. The Dublin based contract, will see Extern take forward a pilot scheme working alongside the Irish Youth Justice Service through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, to ensure young people on bail and their families are supported through a dedicated scheme to address their needs. Extern currently works with TUSLA and An Garda Síochána.
The scheme will commence on a pilot basis in 2016 and will cater for up to 25 young people in the Dublin area, where deemed appropriate by the presiding Judge in any particular case. The scheme will provide support through the use of Multisystemic Therapy (MST), an Evidence-Based approach which seeks to understand the factors that contribute to the young person’s behaviour. MST is an internationally recognised Evidence Based Programme, with significant research to validate its positive impact.
The pilot contract has been awarded for 2 years and the scheme will undergo an evaluation during the pilot period.