Frequently Asked Questions


What are Garda Youth Diversion Projects?

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.


What is a Community Sanction?

If a child goes to Court and is found or pleads guilty to a crime, a Judge can decide to sentence the child to a Community Sanction. This means that the child will receive an order from the Court to do some service in his/her community or, for example, attend a particular programme. This allows the child to stay in school and at home in their community. There are 10 from which the Judge can choose, for example, Community Service, Intensive Supervision and a Day Centre Order.


What are Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)?

A number of measures to address anti-social behaviour by children were introduced in March 2007. Behaviour Orders offer an alternative way of dealing with anti-social behaviour by children other than going through the criminal process. There are a series of steps which must be undertaken before a senior member of An Garda Síochána can seek a behaviour order through the Courts. A behaviour order will remain in force for a maximum period of 2 years. For more information please see


What is the Children Court?

This is a special Court for children who are in trouble with the law and who are being charged with a crime. The Children Court is where a Judge listens to both sides about what happened and decides what happens next.
The Children Court is held in the courtrooms where ordinary sittings of the District Court are held, except in Dublin which has a dedicated Children Court. The sittings are held at different times to those for adults who have to come to the District Court. The Children Court gives special attention to helping children understand what is going on. If the parents or guardian cannot afford to pay a solicitor, the Court can offer legal aid for the child. These sittings are held in camera, which means only people involved are allowed stay in the court room. 


What is the purpose of Oberstown Children Detention Campus?

When a child commits an offence and is charged and convicted before the court, there are a number of sentencing options available to the judge. The Court can impose a range of community sanctions, which will address the child’s offending behaviour, while still allowing him/her stay in their own family, community and school. Where community sanctions have been exhausted or are not appropriate to address the offences which the child has committed, the Court may order the child to be detained at Oberstown Children Detention Campus. Oberstown provides care, education, training and other programmes to young boys and girls between 12 and 18 years with a view to reintegrating them successfully back into their communities and to society.  The framework for providing these objectives is through the CEHOP programme which focuses on providing Care, Education, Health and wellbeing interventions, Offending Behaviour programmes and Preparation for leaving.


Oberstown works with a range of other agencies and disciplines to lead in the care needs of its young people while on campus. Placement planning is a priority to ensure that time spent on campus is as effective as possible to achieve best outcomes for each young person. 



How do I contact the Irish Youth Justice Service?


You can contact us at:


Irish Youth Justice Service,

Block 1 Miesian Plaza

50-58 Baggot Street Lower,

Dublin 2

D02 XW14


Phone: 01 6473000

Email: [email protected]