Irish Penal Reform Trust

2013 Report on the Garda Diversion Programme

22nd March 2014

The Department of Justice and Equality has published the Annual Report of the Committee Appointed to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion Programme 2013. Like the report from the previous year, the 2013 Report is in the main a statistical snapshot with some short case studies, highlighting the use of restorative justice approaches in Garda dealings with children and young people to divert them from offending behaviour.

The figures show that 1,826 less young persons came to the notice of An Garda Síochána in 2013, representing a 14.9% decrease on the number in 2012. This reduction continues the year on year downward trend experienced since 2007.


  • The total number of incidents referred to the Diversion Programme during 2013 was 20,536 compared to 24,069 in 2012;
  • The total number of individual children referred to the Programme was 10,420 compared to 12,246 in 2012;
  • 1,652 (16%) children were considered not suitable for inclusion in the Programme compared to 1,822 (15%) in 2012;
  • The top 3 youth offence categories for 2013 were Public Order and Social Code Offences (26.3%), Theft and Related Offences (27.32%) and Damage to Property and the Environment (10.65%). The 2013 figures in these respects represented notable decreases in each of the offence categories when compared to 2012 showing reductions of 22.59%, 6.42% and 12.86% respectively.

In the accompanying press release, Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald stated:

“I am committed to protecting, as far as possible, the resources available for these projects and to expand the network of projects into areas where the need for them is clearly supported by youth crime data.”

Read more:

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



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