Irish Penal Reform Trust

Developing Youth Justice - 21st November

21st November 2019

The Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Irish Criminal Bar Association are delighted to co-host a seminar on Developing Youth Justice: 18-24s in the Criminal Justice System on Thursday 21st November 2019 from 4.30-6.30pm in the Distillery Building (Arbitration Room), Church Street, Dublin 7.

CPD certs are available for this event (group study, 2 hours)

Since 2014, IPRT has campaigned for alternative and nuanced approaches to addressing offending by young people aged 18-24. International evidence finds that most people ‘age-out’ of criminal activity in their late 20s. Young adults are more responsive to rehabilitative measures than older adults – but the wrong interventions, including having to disclose convictions, can limit opportunities and deepen offending behaviour. Alternative sentencing and policy approaches are needed.

Internationally, there has been increasing focus on transitions into adulthood as an opportunity for positive change, with an acknowledgement that brain development and maturity continues well beyond adolescence. It is in highlighting this awareness that has inspired our event. The seminar will examine the need for a discrete approach for 18-24 year olds in the criminal justice system, with focus on sentencing, alternatives to prison, and the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018, which seeks to extend current spent convictions legislation for young people.

Speakers will include (see biographies below):

Day/time: Thursday 21st November (16.30-18.30)

Venue: Arbitration Rooms, Distillery Building, Church St, Dublin 7.

Refreshments: A wine reception will follow the event.

Please let us know if you have any specific accessibility needs.

To RSVP, please email Lorraine at Early registration is advised!



Minister David Stanton

David Stanton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration will open this event. Minister Stanton is a long time champion of youth justice, having previously had special responsibility for Youth Justice in the Department. He launched the Work to Learn initiative in 2017, a youth crime prevention and diversion project, and the Making it Count report earlier this year, a research project to identify ways to develop and improve youth justice in Ireland.


Senator Lynn Ruane

Lynn Ruane is a currently serving Independent Senator in Seanad Éireann. She studied politics and philosophy in Trinity College Dublin and is a former President of their Students’ Union. Lynn sits with the Seanad Civil Engagement Group and regularly campaigns for social justice and equality. She introduced the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill in December 2018, now in its third stage with cross-party support.


Dr Laura Janes

Laura is a solicitor and the legal director for the Howard League for Penal Reform (UK). The Howard League form part of the T2A (Transition to Adulthood) Alliance, who promote effective policy and practice for young people in the criminal justice system. Laura was awarded a professional doctorate in youth justice from the University of Bedfordshire in 2014 and has garnered expertise in representing young people and giving children in prison a voice. Her practice areas include prison law, public law and criminal appeals. Laura is a visiting fellow at London South Bank University where she lectures on crime and human rights. She is also a consultant solicitor with Scott-Moncrieff & Associates, founder of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, and chair of Legal Action Group.


Mr Ian Power

Ian is the CEO of, Ireland’s youth information website aimed at empowering young people. Ian has extensive experience working in the youth sector. While working in London he established the Raising Aspirations programme, which aimed to increase the number of young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds progressing to leading universities. Raising Aspirations won the Times Education Supplement award for ‘Outstanding innovation in teaching, training or learning provision’​ in 2012. Ian is CEO of Crisis Text Line Ireland, and was president of the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) until 2019. He is an independent non-executive director for both Citizen’s Information and the Community Foundation for Ireland. He has an advanced diploma in juvenile justice from King’s Inns and a professional fellowship in the rule of law from Boston College.


Mr Eddie D'Arcy

Eddie is CEO of Solas Project and a Board member of IPRT. Eddie has a long history in the field of youth work, including 27 years leading and developing Ronanstown Youth Service in Neilstown and served as head of youth work with CYC. He presently work as a consultant with a number of youthwork/youth justice agencies and also lectures in DKIT. Eddie has a Master's in Youth Work from Maynooth University and has received a number of prestigious awards for his work with young people, including the John O'Connell Award


Ms Sarah Jane Judge BL

A graduate of University College Cork (UCC), Sarah Jane Judge is a practising barrister specialising in criminal law and juvenile Justice. In 2013, she established the Advanced Diploma in Juvenile Justice at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, the first of its kind in the country. She has presented on a national and international level on issues of children’s rights and juvenile offending. In Ireland, she has presented to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Minister for Children, various academic audiences and on national radio. Sarah Jane was called to the Bar in 2009 and is based in Drogheda.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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