IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Young People on Remand: Report

28th November 2008

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs published a major report into the situation of young people on remand in November 2008.

Speaking at the launch of the report, IPRT Director Liam Herrick said, "The State's success in breaking the cycle of youth offending at the earliest point has profound significance for those young people and for society.

"This report shows that opportunities for constructive intervention with young people are being missed during a crucial period while they are awaiting trial."

Among the main findings of the report are that young people on remand do not clearly understand their bail conditions and bail support is hopelessly inadequate. Coupled with excessively long periods on remand, the failure to monitor and support young offenders on remand means that they are at high risk of re-offending.

The Children Act 2001 recognises that detention of young people causes harm that is not easily reversed. This report shows that the principle of detention as a last resort enshrined in the Children Act is not being respected in relation to remand, and that a significant proportion of young people who have not been convicted are being detained for extended periods in St. Patrick's Institution and Children Detention Schools.

Read the report here.

The authors of the report are Dr. Mairéad Seymour and Dr. Michelle Butler, of the Centre for Social and Educational Research, Dublin Institute of Technology.