It is widely recognised – both nationally and internationally – that children in care of the State are more likely than other children to end up in conflict with the law, more likely to become criminalised, and more likely to end up in detention, and ultimately prison. The profoundly negative cycle of the criminalisation of young people in care results in poorer outcomes for the individual young person, but also for communities and wider society. While the connections between the experience of care and prison have long been identified, IPRT, in conjunction with EPIC (Empowering People in Care), wishes to address the questions as to what extent this is the case in Ireland, why this is happening and how we can break this cycle.
The project has two main aims:
- To examine the extent of, and the reasons for the over-representation of children in care or with care experience in the criminal justice system in Ireland and;
- To identify the best ways to address and reduce the criminalisation of these young people.
This project is kindly supported by The Community Foundation for Ireland.