Minister

Minister Zappone launches Evaluation of the Bail Supervision Scheme for Children (Pilot Scheme)

By December 23, 2019 No Comments

  • Evaluation reflects positive outcomes achieved in the areas of: a reduction in offending behaviour; a greater compliance with bail conditions and a reduction in custodial sanctions

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, TD, today launched the Evaluation Report into the Bail Supervision Scheme (BSS).

The Bail Supervision Scheme (BSS) provides intensive support for young people’s caregivers to facilitate sustainable change in young people’s behaviour including adherence with bail conditions, reduced re-offending and engagement in pro-social activities.  One of its primary aims is to reduce the number of young people who are detained in custody while awaiting court decision. This scheme not only benefits the young person and their families but the whole community.

In 2016 the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) commissioned Extern to provide a pilot BSS for young people attending the Children Court (Court 55) in Smithfield, Dublin.

The Research Evidence into Policy Programmes and Practice (REPPP), part of the School of Law in the University of Limerick, carried out the evaluation of the scheme on behalf of the DCYA. The research was conducted by Catherine Naughton, Sean Redmond and Barry Coonon.

The findings of the evaluation reflect very well on the work of the BSS with positive outcomes achieved in the areas of: a reduction in offending behaviour; a greater compliance with bail conditions and a reduction in custodial sanctions.

The Minister said: “I wish to thank all the agencies, statutory and non-statutory bodies, for making this possible. The bodies involved include the Courts, An Garda Síochána, the Probation Service, Oberstown Children Detention Campus, Tusla and Extern (who are commissioned to operate the scheme).

As Minister I was delighted that the Bail Supervision Scheme has received recognition both nationally and internationally. In the Correctional Excellence Awards 2019 category at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) held in Buenos Aires it received the “Community Corrections Award”. It also received the 2019 Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Award in the category of ‘Collaboration’. This has highlighted the need to consider the expansion of the scheme to other areas in the near future.”

The full Evaluation Report is available on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website from today. Click here.