Garda Youth Diversion Projects
The Garda Youth Diversion Programme is provided for in the Childrens Act 2001. The Garda Diversion Programme is supported by a network of Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs).
GYDPs are community-based multi-agency crime prevention initiatives, which seek to divert young people who have become involved in crime/anti-social behaviour and to support wider preventative work within the community and with families at risk. There are currently 105 GYDPs state-wide, and a further 10 projects with a special focus (e.g. more challenging children, family support, etc.).
GYDPs aim to bring about the conditions whereby the behavioural patterns of young people towards law and order can develop and mature through positive interventions and interaction with the project. They are primarily targeted at 12-17 year old “at risk” youths in communities where a specific need has been identified and where there is a risk of them remaining within the justice system. The objectives of the GYDP are to:
- Promote focussed and effective interventions to challenge and divert young people from offending behaviour;
- Utilise GYDP resources in areas of greatest need and to establish effective crime prevention supports in co-operation with other youth service providers nationwide;
- Actively promote crime prevention policy through focussed educational interventions influencing positive development of young people towards becoming responsible citizens.
Funding for these interventions is based on evidence that diverting young offenders from the criminal justice system, and preventative work with young people at risk, is to their long-term benefit and that of society as a whole.
GYDPs are administered by the Department of Justice’s Youth Crime Policy and Programmes Division, which operates as part of the Irish Youth Justice Service in partnership with the Garda Youth Diversion Office. Each project is managed by a Community Based Organisation (e.g. Foróige, Youth Work Ireland, Crosscare etc.). In 2018, approximately €14m was allocated by the Irish Youth Justice Service to GYDPs. Garda Youth Diversion Projects are co-funding by the Irish Government and European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.
ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020 for Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs)
The European Social Fund (ESF) provides the European Union with the financial means to invest in people. The current round of funding will run from 2014 to 2020 during which Ireland will have received more than €500 million in assistance from the European Social Fund. The Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) secured co-funding for Garda Youth Diversion Projects through the European Social Fund 2014-2020 Programme for the specific purpose of improving the education and employability prospects of young people engaged in the projects.The allocation of the funding is subject to a number of conditions as outlined in the EU circulars. These circulars can be found on the ESF website.
The Garda Youth Diversion Projects are also funded by the Dormant Accounts Fund.