IPRT welcomes the launch of two significant initiatives for reform of youth justice in Ireland.
The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, today launched the ‘GYDP (Garda Youth Diversion Project) Action Research Project’ and the ‘Making it Count’ study. The ‘GYDP Action Research Project’ will work with 15 GYDPs across 10 counties over a two-year period in order to identify and disseminate best practice in working with young people at risk. The ‘Making it Count’ study compares Ireland’s youth justice data recording practices to six other jurisdictions to compare the usefulness of Irish data against top performing jurisdictions.
The initiatives, which build on research commissioned by the Department of Justice and Equality and undertaken by the University of Limerick, are intended to start the development of a Reform and Development Programme for Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) and will inform the development of a new Youth Justice Strategy.
In particular, IPRT welcomes the investment in the review of youth justice data collection processes and looks forward to the results of the study providing evidence that shapes the design of more effective youth diversion services. The continued collection and publication of robust and effective data by State agencies is central to the improvement of processes, practices and policies.
The launch of these youth justice initiatives follows the publication last year of the Department of Justice and Equality Data and Research Strategy 2018–2020, which aims to ensure better management, integration and use of knowledge.