The Bail Supervision Scheme, which was designed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and is operated by Extern, was presented with the Excellence through Collaboration award at the Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards 2019 at St Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle.
The award is:
“to recognise the achievements of civil servants and showcase examples of best practice and innovation in government departments and offices.”
The Bail Supervision Scheme (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 court decision.
In 2016 DCYA commissioned Extern to provide a pilot BSS for young people attending the Children Court (Court 55) in Smithfield, Dublin.
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.
The Minister said:
“Support for an innovative bail scheme that reduces the risk of re-offending benefits the whole of society. It improves education and training participation. It supports often marginalised groups of parents and caregivers within their homes enabling them to support high-risk young people in their care to meet bail conditions and reduce re-offending.”
Notes to the Editor:
The 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.