The Bail Supervision Scheme, which was designed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and is operated by Extern, was presented with the Community Corrections Awards 2019 at the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) Conference.
The ICPA award is a “Special recognition by the Association, its members and indeed the wider correctional community for efforts and initiatives within the correctional sphere.”
In 2016 DCYA commissioned Extern, a social justice charity, to provide a pilot Bail Supervision Scheme (BSS) for young people attending the Children Court (Court 55) in Smithfield, Dublin.
The BSS provides intensive support for young people’s caregivers to facilitate sustainable change in young people’s behaviour including adherence with bail conditions, reduced re-offending and engagement in pro-social activities. One of its primary aims is to reduce the number of young people who are detained in custody while awaiting a court decision.
Minister Zappone, as part of her Budget 2020 package, provided additional funding for the extension of the Bail Supervision Scheme. The Minister noted that the additional funding being made available in Budget 2020 will allow her Department to begin the process of rolling out the scheme to the courts in other parts of the country.
Minister Zappone said:
Bail Supervision Scheme (BSS) is targeted at young people who may otherwise have to be detained in Oberstown. The BSS has recently been evaluated by the University of Limerick. The evaluation, which will be published soon, shows that there was a marked reduction in the levels of re-offending and that the majority of the young people enrolled attracted a non-custodial option at their sentencing hearings. There was also a high return to education or training.