Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 20 March, 2002
Written Answers. - Young Offenders.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
74. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Education and Science the places and supports in place for young offenders; the number of residential and remand places available; the staffing of same; the annual costs for the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8322/02]
Mr. Bell Mr. Bell
81. Mr. Bell asked the Minister for Education and Science the total number of places available and their location for young offenders; and the current number of vacancies in each case. [9202/02]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 81 together.
My Department has statutory responsibility for the provision of residential places for children up to the age of 16 years who are referred by the courts. There are five young offender centres under the aegis of my Department. They are:
Trinity House, Oberstown, Lusk, County Dublin
Oberstown Boys Centre, Oberstown, Lusk, County Dublin
Oberstown Girls Centre, Oberstown, Lusk, County Dublin
Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre, Kildonan Road, Finglas West, Dublin 11, and
St. Joseph's Special School, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, County Tipperary.
The centres provide residential care, education and training programmes for the children remanded or committed by the courts. The focus of these programmes is to change the offending behaviour of the children and prepare them for reintegration following release. Individual care plans are devised to meet the needs of each young person in order to ensure that these are addressed in a holistic and comprehensive way.
Young offender centres provide residential accommodation for up to 162 children, which includes up to 31 remand places. The current operational capacity of the centres is 125 children. The reduced operational capacity is caused mainly by refurbishment and redevelopment work. The operational capacity of these facilities will fluctuate from time to time to facilitate refur bishment and new developments. Capacity is also reduced where a centre is required to make special arrangements in order to cater for a particularly difficult child. The total number of vacant places in the centres currently stands at 12. They are six in St Joseph's, Clonmel, four in Trinity House and two in Finglas Children's Centre. My Department has commissioned an independent review of the residential requirements for young offenders. The purpose of this review is to ensure that there are sufficient residential places available to meet the needs of the target group in the short, medium and longer term. A consultant has been appointed and it is expected that his  report will be available shortly. The outcome of this review will inform future development plans in this area.
The total number of permanent staff employed in the centres is currently 376. In addition to this there are 12 part time and 56 relief staff employed. The number of staff vacancies in the centres currently stands at 32. This number includes relief staff vacancies and a number of recently sanctioned positions to staff new pre-release units to be opened shortly at Trinity House and Oberstown girls centre.
The following tables set out the operating costs of the five centres for the past five years.
Irish pounds IR£
*Teaching costs not included.
Euro Equivalent Costs €
*Teaching costs not included.
Dáil Éireann 550 Written Answers. Young Offenders.