Presentation Hosted by DCYA and IYJS
Eight of the schools’ final year students, Sarah Loughran, Alison Kiely, Shane O’Reilly, Lauren Derwin, Katie Tyrrell, Pamela Gubbins, Una Walsh and John Dunne, presented their work on the titled ‘Legal and Policy Instruments to Protect Children from Adult’s Grooming for Crime’, at a meeting hosted by Secretary-General Dr Fergal Lynch and Michelle Shannon, Director of Irish Youth Justice Services in the Ministerial boardroom of DCYA on the 21st of March. As part of their Advanced Lawerying module, the students used their learning over their degree course to produce a policy document that evaluated legislative and policy instruments employed in various jurisdictions to tackle the global problem of adults grooming children for crime. Specifically, the instruments were being examined to check their utility in relation to the problems presented by the Greentown study. The student’s work was part of the REPPP project and was supervised by Prof. Sean Redmond, Dr Eimear Spain and Dr Catherine Naughton. The students research was timely in the light of both the recent publication of Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Geoffrey Shannon’s annual report which recommended the introduction of legislations to prosecute adults who groom children to commit crimes, and the introduction of the Criminal Law (Recruitment of Children to Engage in Criminal Activity) Bill 2018 to the Oireachtas by Deputy Anne Rabbitte. The Schools students received very positive feedback from officials. Secretary-General Dr Fergal Lynch stated that it was ‘a hugely enjoyable presentation’. Officials commented favourably on the succinctness and precision of the inputs – 8 analyses presented in 20 minutes.
Bail Supervision for Children
The REPPP project were delighted to host an Open Information Session on the new Bail Supervision programme for children. Fiona Murphy , Manager Bail Supervision Service, Extern, Dublin gave a fascinating presentation on this innovative programme on the 12th of February 2018. Fiona outlined the background to the programme, and ts operations to date. The presentation was followed by a discussion.
Ireland has a relatively low use of detention for children. However, children on remand, that is, either awaiting trial or sentence, have continued to account for between 20-30 per cent of the detention population at any one time. While there are a now a range of non-custodial measures available for children who are convicted, problems arise in that the options for children pre-trial or pre-sentence are limited simply to ‘bail’ or ‘no bail’. Multi-Systemic Therapy [MST] (an evidence based programme from the United States), has been tested extensively in child welfare and some youth justice settings in a large number of jurisdictions. In 2016 an innovative programme was designed and piloted in Dublin as a new ‘bail supervision programme’ incorporating MST. This programme offers elevated levels of support and supervision for children who would be ordinarily remanded to detention. The strategic intention is that with such a programme the demand for detention for children will be further reduced.
REPPP project research showcased
Prof Sean Redmond and John Reddy showcased the REPPP project research at the meet-and–greet with Irish Research Council board members held in UL on the 19th of January. John and Sean are pictured with IRC board member Prof. Ursula Kilkenny.
Third Intervention Programme Design Workshop
Prof Sean Redmond was invited to present a keynote speech at the Annual Prosecutors Conference in Dublin Castle on the 25th of November 2017
In April 2017, the REPPP research team successfully organised a conference entitled Perspectives on Hidden Victims. Findings of Three New Innovative Studies, that attracted over 100 delegates from practice and academia. Dr Sean Redmond outlined the study’s objectives, the limitations of the extant knowledge on children’s involvement in adult criminal networks, key research findings, and policy implications arising from the Greentown study. The paper also outlined important work being undertaken by the School of Law in 2017 to replicate and broaden the original Greentown study to gauge the generalisability of findings and assist in the design of new interventions. You can watch a recording of this conference below.
The first two Greentown project events have been held at the University of Limerick on the 15th June and 4th September, 2017 with another two-day workshop on the 12th and 13th December, 2017. The workshops aim to combine knowledge from experts, both on the ground and in academia, to inform an intervention for children involved in prolific offending in criminal networks.