The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly TD, has announced the commencement of a tender process for the procurement of intervention services for children in the criminal justice system under a new Bail Supervision Scheme. According to the Minister, the Bail Supervision Scheme is to be launched by Q2 of 2016. The Scheme is intended to provide more therapeutic supports in the community for children who are subject to bail conditions. The Minister has stated that “The aim of the scheme is to reduce the need for a court to place young people in custody where they're alleged to have been involved in criminal behaviour, while being remanded on bail pending criminal proceedings.” The Minister has expressed the view that he would like to see a reduction in the use of remand in the case of children.
IPRT strongly welcomes this news. At any given time, approximately 50% of children in detention schools are on remand. The comparable figure in the adult prison system is 15%; thus illustrating the over-use of remand in the case of children. IPRT had previously recommended that “the Department of Children and Youth Affairs should ensure the nationwide availability of supervised bail programmes and effective bail supports which identify and address bail compliance issues to minimise the necessity for young offenders to be remanded pre-trial” (See IPRT Position Paper 11: Bail and Remand). Therefore, IPRT considers the Minister’s announcement to be a very positive development.
Department of Children and Youth Affairs: Minister Reilly announces tender for services under Bail Supervision Scheme
IPRT: Turnaround Youth