New scheme aims to keep young people out of prison
Bail supervision project to tackle child custody rates will be piloted in Dublin
A bail supervision scheme aimed at keeping young people out of prison is to be piloted in Dublin. File photograph: Getty Images
A bail supervision scheme aimed at keeping young people out of prison will be piloted in Dublin, Minister for Children James Reilly has said.
The system aims to increase supervision to strengthen adherence to bail conditions and reduce child custody rates on remand, which are higher than those of adults.
Figures released by the Department of Children last year showed the average number of days for which under-18s were remanded to detention schools was 25 days in 2013 and 22 days in 2014.
Following a tender process, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is to offer the contract for the scheme to the social justice charity Extern.
The department said the scheme will ensure that detention can be a last resort.
It said judges will have available to them information on how a young person is complying with bail conditions laid down by the court.
The department said the added supervision will ensure greater compliance and closer monitoring.
The scheme will also provide support through the use of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) to assist the young person to desist from anti-social behaviour and support families during the period of remand.
The scheme will operate initially on a pilot basis in 2016 in the Dublin area and will be available at the discretion of the presiding judge.