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Irish Examiner: Plan to remove juveniles from St Pat’s

8th March 2011

In today's Irish Examiner, Jennifer Hough reports that IPRT has welcomed the pledge to end the practice of sending children to St Patrick’s Institution included in the new Programme for Government.

St Patrick’s, which is a prison, has long been criticised as inappropriate for 16 and 17-year-old boys, and is in breach of the UN convention on the rights of the child by doing so.

"A spokesperson for the IPRT said they were "highly concerned" that a new facility at Oberstown, which is supposed to cater for those youths, does not have the funding to progress as planned. The IPRT said it had sought clarification from then Minister for Children Barry Andrews but that it was "unclear" whether there are any ring-fenced funds for the project."

The Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) budget in 2011 has seen a cut of 24% on 2010, with a cut in capital expenditure from €8.229 million in 2010 to just €500,000 in 2011.

The IYJS, which is responsible for managing children’s detention schools, maintains that until places at Oberstown are available, St Patrick’s Institution will continue to be used for 16 and 17-year-old boys detained by the courts.

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