Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
345. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if funding will be offered to Kildare Youth Services (details supplied) in County Kildare which has made an application for the Garda youth diversion project in Celbridge, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12808/05]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Garda youth diversion projects are a community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiative which seek to divert young persons from becoming involved — or further involved — in anti-social and-or criminal behaviour by providing suitable activities to facilitate personal development, promote civic responsibility and improve long-term employability prospects. By doing so, the projects also contribute to improving the quality of life within communities and enhancing Garda-community relations. The number of projects has grown from 12 in 1997 to 64 at present, a process made possible, in part, by funding under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The locations of new projects are decided upon by the Garda authorities in conjunction with my Department.
I am committed to the continuing development and, as resources permit, the expansion of Garda youth diversion projects. Proposals made by the Garda Síochána to my Department on establishing further projects are examined within the context of available resources. All applications relating to the establishment of further projects should follow the establishment process as set out in the Garda youth diversion project guidelines which I launched in 2003. The 11 establishment guidelines give a clear structure to the application process from the initial expression of interest to the final submission of the proposal and cover issues such as the pre-establishment phase, consultation, memorandum of understanding, legal structure, co-ordinator’s job description and catchment area.
A budget of €5.471 million has been provided for the Garda youth diversion projects and local drugs task force projects in 2005. It is expected that this amount will be required to meet the funding needs of the projects in operation. It is not envisaged that additional youth diversion projects will be established in the short term. I am informed by the Garda authorities that an application for a Garda youth diversion project in Celbridge was received in November 2003. Consideration will be given to this application among others should further funding become available.
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