Publications & Resources

Oberstown Publications

Annual Report

Oberstown Children Detention Campus has published its annual report for 2016/2017. This is the first report of the Board of Management for the new Campus and covers an 18-month period from 1 June 2016 to 31 December 2017. The new Campus was established under the Children (Amendment) Act 2015, which came into effect on June 1 2016. As noted in the foreword by Chair of the Board Professor Ursula Kilkelly, the report presents key developments, challenges and achievements over the period covered by the report.

Annual Report >>

Behaviour Management Review

This report was completed by external experts on behalf of Oberstown in early 2017 and at that time was circulated to staff, the Board of Management and the department of Children and Youth Affairs. In October 2018, the report was published with a foreword by the director of Oberstown and updates associated with each recommendation.

Behaviour Management Review >>

Young Person’s Booklet

Oberstown has produced a youth-friendly information booklet for young people. With young people’s views sprinkled throughout, the booklet gives an overview of daily life on the Campus, and outlines young people’s rights and the way in which they will be cared for. The booklet is given to each young person upon arrival.

Young Person’s booklet >>

Key Characteristics of Young People in Detention Report for Q1 2018

New data has been published by Oberstown Children Detention Centre which gives an insight into the characteristics of young people in detention in Ireland. The research is aimed at providing a better understanding of the challenges faced by young people in conflict with the law, and to inform services and interventions to assist such young people. As well as offering insights into offending and sentencing, the data highlights the level of adversity and trauma young people have experienced, including neglect and abuse, high levels of substance misuse and disengagement from the education system. (Accompanying factsheet available here.)

Key Characteristics of Children in Detention Q1 2018 >>

Oberstown Strategic Plan, 2017-2020

The Oberstown Strategic Plan 2017-2020 sets the course for youth detention in Ireland until 2020. The plan has five priority areas: Providing the best possible care for young people; Developing the Oberstown team and organisation; implementing policies, procedures and standards consistent with the best model of detention for young people; enhancing communications aligned to Oberstown values and mission and delivering robust governance at all levels and driving effective accountability. Find the full plan attached below.

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Oberstown Participation Strategy

Under the Oberstown Strategic Plan 2017-2020, the Campus made a commitment to adopt a strategy for the participation of young people in decision-making with a view to ensuring that the views of young people are heard and taken into account in matters that affect them. Although there are many ways for young people’s voices to be heard in Oberstown, work must continue to identify how to overcome barriers to young people’s views being taken into account. Oberstown is committed to continually developing participation methods that are rights-based, with a view to ensuring that all young people have the opportunity to express their views in a variety of ways, and to have those views taken seriously and acted upon.

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Oberstown Communications and Engagement Strategy

The Oberstown Communications and Engagement Strategy is a three year plan to ensure there is effective, modern communication systems in place to create a more accessible and proactive communications culture within the organisation. This will in part be achieved by being open, transparent and timely in all communications activities. Find attached the full Communications Strategy.

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Key Characteristics of Young People in Detention, 2017

Find attached a statistical overview of the key characteristics of young people detained in Oberstown Children Detention Campus during the first quarter of 2017. (Accompanying factsheet available here.) This report is the first step in an on-going process to provide contemporaneous data about young people in detention and provides a baseline to build on with a view to tracking trends and patterns in the future. The findings here confirm that young people in detention have a wide range of complex needs often requiring a holistic, multi-agency response. By understanding the origins, needs and trajectories of these young people, it is hoped that the necessary services and interventions can assist them to move on from their offending behaviour.

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Not Just Language

In order to dispel the myths and stereotypes that can be used in relation to youth justice, Oberstown has produced a language reference guide to make it easy to use the correct language and terminology when talking about young people in conflict with the law. Challenging stigmatising language is important because discrepancies between public opinion and facts means that people may be misinformed about youth justice issues. Find a supporting document with further information about this topic here.

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Future of Policing submission  

In January 2018, Oberstown submitted a report to the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. The report aims to inform the Commission on areas of reform with An Garda Síochána in order to ensure the most suitable delivery of services to young people who are sent to Oberstown by the courts.

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Guidance on protected disclosures

The aim of this guide is to assist and support employees in speaking out about potential wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the workplace. It does not cover personal complaints or personal grievances.

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Board of Management Statement on Restrictive Practices

This statement from the Board of Management sets out the accepted position on the use of restrictive practices in Oberstown Children Detention Campus.

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Oberstown Summary Report of External Reviews

Find attached here an overview report on the external reviews carried out in relation to Oberstown since September 2016.

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Board Response to the Recommendations of the Operational Review

Find attached here the Board of Management response to the recommendations of the Operational Review.

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Annual Reports, 2012-2016

The combined annual reports from 2012 to 2016 (May) reflect a period during which significant reform was taking place at Oberstown. The report highlights key developments and provides statistics about the young people at Oberstown during the relevant years.
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Oberstown Factsheet

Some fact and figures relating to the Oberstown Campus.
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CEHOP

The CEHOP model of Care
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Oberstown Overview, 2017

An overview of developments at the Oberstown Campus during 2017
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Lesson from the Literature: Building Relationships with Young People in Oberstown to Improve Pro-social Outcomes.

This report was carried out by the Centre for Effective Services (CES) for the Oberstown Children Detention Campus. The review sets out key elements that should be involved in relationship building with young people in detention. It also identifies relationship-building tools and techniques that can be used once relationships have been established.
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Building Relationships with Young People to Improve Pro-Social Outcomes.

Condensed booklet for staff on improving relationship building between teachers, care staff and young people.
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Government Publications

Children First: National Guidance

The aim of Children First is to promote the safety and well-being of children. This document is intended to assist people in identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect in order that young people are protected from harm.
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Standards and Criteria for Children Detention Schools, 2008

HIQA inspects Children Detention Schools against these standards developed by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
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Better outcomes, Brighter futures

This national policy document sets out a plan to achieve optimum outcomes and bright futures for all children and their families.
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IYJS, Youth Justice Action Plan

The Youth Justice Action Plan, 2014 -2018, identifies a number of goals to help continue the downward trends in youth crime and detention; to become more adept in understanding and intervening in more serious crime offending patterns, and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions that address the behaviour and needs of young people in conflict with the law.
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Expert Group on Children Detention Schools

This report advised the Government on future capacity needs of the detention school service to achieve the policy objective of bringing 16- and 17-year olds remanded or committed by the criminal courts into a child care focused model of detention.
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Research & Resources

Consolidated Children Act, 2001

This document is an administrative consolidation of the Children Act, 2001 prepared by the Law Reform Commission.
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Children First Act, 2015

The Children First Act 2015, signed into law on 19 November 2015, puts elements of the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children on a statutory footing.
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HIQA Inspection Reports 

Inspection reports relating to young people in detention are available for viewing on HIQA’s website..
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Detention of Children in Ireland

The Irish Penal Reform Trust considers the implementation of international human rights standards to children detention in Ireland, and details best practice examples from Ireland and other European jurisdictions In this comprehensive report.
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Reducing Youth Crime in Ireland

This significant piece of research quantifies the impact of mentoring in significantly reducing reoffending and in delivering positive economic and social benefits. The report, “Reducing Youth Crime in Ireland,” shows that the Le Chéile mentoring service reduces offending behaviour by an average of 28%. Le Cheile currently works with Oberstown to provide mentoring services to young people and their families.

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Someone to Care: The mental health needs of young people with experience of the care and justice systems.

In this study, The Children’s Mental Health Coalition explores the experiences and mental health needs of children and young people from the perspectives of those who have experienced the care and youth justice systems.
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Emotional Intelligence Mental Health and Juvenile Delinquency

Research conducted with 30 young people in detention found that more than 50 per cent of the young people were addicted to drugs; 20 per cent were identified as having had an intellectual disability, while 83 per cent were identified as having “at least one psychiatric disorder”.
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Young People on Remand

This report from 2008 examines the situation of young people on remand in Ireland. The study considers the services and supports required by young people to promote greater compliance with the conditions of bail therefore reducing the use of detention on remand.
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The Children Court: A National Study

This report from 2007 presents data about young people facing charges in the Children Court. The research provides quantitative data on the background and history of young people involved in the youth justice system in Ireland.
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The Children Court: A Children’s Rights Audit

This study measures the extent to which the Children Court operates in line with national and international standards in youth justice. In particular, the research considers whether young people’s rights, including their right to participate in the criminal process, are fully protected before the Court.
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From Justice to Welfare – The Case for Investment in Prevention and Early Intervention

The Irish Penal Reform Trust explores young people’s pathways in the justice system and the links between social disadvantage and crime in this report arguing that the root causes of crime be tackled as a priority.
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Making Rights Real for Children: A Children’s Rights Audit of Irish Law 

Chapter 7 of this publication from The Children’s Rights Alliance and the Law Centre for Children and Young People evaluates the operation of the youth justice system in Ireland against the rights of the child as contained in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.
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Social Care Workers Standards and Criteria for Education and Training

On May 31, 2017, the Social Care Workers Registration Board launched the Standards of Proficiency for Social Care Workers and Criteria for Education and Training Programmes. The launch marks an important step towards opening the register for social care workers. The Social Care Workers Registration Board have outlined a process for engagement and communication with key stakeholders over the coming months as it continues its necessary preparatory work towards opening registration for social care workers. All the relevant documents and information are available to download.
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ACJRD

The Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (ACJRD) seeks to promote reform, development and effective operation of the criminal justice system. The organisation aims to promote study and research in the field of criminal justice and related fields through conferences, seminars, journal published papers, database of members’ interests and special interest study groups. The organisation carried out a study of the Dublin Children Court in 2005 (linked above).
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CYCJ

The website of the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice, based in Scotland, is an excellent resource for research and information about youth justice in Scotland and internationally. Find research on trauma and bereavement, the cost of youth justice to victims and perpetrators and society, working with children who have experienced domestic abuse and more.

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Human Rights Instruments and Standards

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
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The UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
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The European Convention on Human Rights
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European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)
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The UN Standards Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules)
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The UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines)
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The UN Rules for the Protection of Juvenile Deprived of their Liberty (The Havana Rules)
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The European Rules for juvenile offenders subject to sanctions and measures (ERJO)
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Child-friendly justice guidelines (GCFJ) 
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