Department of Children and Youth Affairs to offer contract following tender process to progress a bail supervision scheme
26th April, 2016
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly, has announced that his department, having secured funding in the 2016 estimates, is to offer a contract to Extern to progress a Bail Supervision Scheme for young offenders. This is in line with actions outlined in the Youth Justice Action Plan 2014-2018 which continues to be implemented. It is envisaged that this scheme will ensure that detention as a last resort is possible and judges will have available to them information on how a young person is progressing on compliance with bail conditions laid down by the court. The scheme will provide support through the use of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) to assist the young person to desist from anti-social behaviour and support families during the period of the remand.
Minister Reilly stated:
“I am very pleased to announce that, following a request for tender (RFT) prepared within my department and posted on e-Tenders, Extern were successful in winning the tender for the proposed Bail Supervision Scheme. I have asked my Department to finalise the contract to operate the new scheme as soon as possible. The scheme will operate initially on a pilot basis in 2016 in the Dublin area. It will be available at the discretion of the presiding Judge and will have a prescribed reporting system back to the courts through the Probation Service, An Garda Síochána and the Oberstown Children Detention Campus. The detailed procedures and responsibilities for each partner agency are currently being developed and this will also involve consultation with the Judiciary.
The normal rules on breaches of conditions of bail will be observed should a young person not comply and the added supervision will ensure greater compliance and closer monitoring. Based on evidence elsewhere in this area, an intensive bail supervision scheme for young people should impact remand trends by offering courts a new option ‘bail with supervision’ (as an alternative to a remand to detention) following an assessment of suitability. This alternative option should also help a young person to moderate their chaotic circumstances and promote greater stability and pro-social behaviour during the period of bail.
It is envisaged that the scheme will promote the concept of detention as a last resort and judges will have available to them information on how a young person is progressing.
The Youth Justice Action Plan (2014-2018) has the development of a bail supervision scheme as one of its actions to be progressed.
The Inter-Agency Implementation Team chaired by the Irish Youth Justice Service will monitor the scheme.
Extern is a leading social justice charity operating across Ireland. Extern currently works with TUSLA and An Garda Síochána.
The scheme will commence on a pilot basis in 2016 and will cater for up to 25 young people in the Dublin area, where deemed appropriate by the presiding Judge in any particular case.
The scheme will undergo an evaluation during the pilot period.