Irish Penal Reform Trust

Irish Examiner: Improvements at youth detention facility welcomed but ‘more effort needed’

11th October 2018

Writing in today's Irish Examiner, Noel Baker reports on the publication of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) unannounced inspection report on Oberstown Children Detention Campus, undertaken in March 2018.

In the article, entitled ‘Improvements at youth detention facility welcomed but ‘more effort needed’’, IPRT welcomes the significant improvements at the facility but identified certain areas for improvement.

The article notes IPRT’s concern around the inadequate record-keeping on physical interventions with children. Although there had been a welcome reduction of 56% in the use of single separation, the number of incidents remained very high, at 1,701 last year.

IPRT Executive Director Deirdre Malone is quoted, stating:

“Questions must be answered about the use of handcuffs within a secure campus. All international and national guidance and best practice is clear that handcuffs should not be used within a campus, except in the most exceptional cases.”

Baker also references IPRT's call for urgent improvement in engagement by Tusla with management and children at Oberstown.

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