This page gives information on important work to develop a new national Youth Justice Strategy.


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The Youth Justice System in Ireland is supported by the statutory framework contained in the Children Act 2001, (as amended) and by the joint efforts of State bodies and community-based organisations.

In the years since the Children Act came into effect there has been some notable progress, including the closure of the old St Patrick’s Institution and the development of a modern national detention school facility at the Oberstown Child Detention Campus. We have also seen the development of a network of 106 Garda Youth Diversion projects in which community organisations play a vital role in helping young people make positive choices about their lives.

However, youth crime and anti-social behaviour still has an adverse effect on local communities and is a cause for great concern. There is much to be done to deal more effectively with the factors that relate to the involvement of children and young people in crime and the impact on victims. This requires a concerted and collaborative approach from all agencies, working with local communities.

Steering Group

It’s nearly two decades since the Children Act was enacted and it is timely to take stock, and focus on how we can do things better. Early this year, Minister of State David Stanton. T.D. who has special responsibility for Youth Justice in the Department of Justice, convened an expert Steering Group to advise and guide the development of a new national Youth Justice Strategy to come into effect during 2020. This work incorporates a review of provisions in the Children Act.


The development of the new Strategy will include wide ranging consultations with key stakeholders and an initial draft of the new Strategy will be available to support a public consultation process early in 2020.

In the meantime, we are providing information on the development of the Strategy by posting documents that show the issues being considered and some ideas to help us in the future. These include the minutes of the meetings of the expert Steering Group.

If you want to give your views about the new Youth Justice Strategy you can send us an e-mail at [email protected]


Youth Justice Strategy Documents

Youth Justice Strategy Background Note

Guiding Principles for the Youth Justice Strategy

Open Policy Forum Report to Inform the Development of a New Youth Justice Strategy

Youth Justice Strategy Steering Group Minutes and Relevant Documents

  1. Consultation and Communication for Youth Justice Strategy
  1. International Standards
  2. Thematic Approach to New Youth Justice Strategy
  1. Vision Statement for Youth Justice Strategy
  2. Prevention and Early Intervention Discussion Paper
  3. Prevention and Early Intervention Overview
  4. Early Intervention Chart
  1. Diversion Discussion Paper
  2. Diversion Overview
  3. Diversion Chart