Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-lb7rp Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T03:23:42.692Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

4 - Introducing Child Detention in Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2022

Ursula Kilkelly
Affiliation:
University College Cork
Get access

Summary

Introduction

Having traced the development of Irish youth justice law and policy in Chapter 3, this chapter focuses more specifically on child detention, providing an historical and then a more contemporary point of reference for the reforms outlined in the rest of the book. Ireland has a long tradition of over-reliance on institutional care and, throughout the 20th century, children in industrial and reformatory schools suffered harsh and often abusive conditions (O’Sullivan and O’Donnell, 2012). Although the separation of children from adult prisoners took place as early as 1906 (Osborough, 1975), it was not until 1985 that proposals were made in the Whitaker Report (Commission of Inquiry into the Penal System, 1985) for a more enlightened model of detention for children, in small residential settings, with qualified and skilled staff (Sargent, 2016). In effect, however, rights-based reform of child detention took decades to achieve and required the adoption of a range of legal and administrative measures, including legislative reform, clear national policy and significant capital investment. The first part of this chapter sets out the role that these measures played in enabling the reform of child detention in Ireland. The second part introduces the current legal framework and governance arrangements for Oberstown Children Detention Campus, the national child detention facility in Ireland, while it also introduces the particular circumstances of the children who are detained there. In these respects, it provides important context for the deeper analysis that takes place in the chapters that follow.

The reform of child detention in Ireland

Contemporary reform of child detention in Ireland began with the introduction of the Children Act 2001, which introduced a new category of ‘children detention schools’, under the remit of the Department of Education, which detained girls and boys under 16 years of age in conflict with the law. Taken together, Trinity House School (1983), Oberstown Boys’ School (1991) and Oberstown Girls’ School (1991), all in Lusk, County Dublin, and Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre, nearer Dublin, could accommodate approximately 77 children (IYJS, 2008a). St Joseph's Clonmel (a former industrial school) could accommodate a further 40 children. The schools provided residential care, education and assessment services and they had varying levels of security (Kilkelly, 2006).

Type
Chapter
Information
Advancing Children's Rights in Detention
A Model for International Reform
, pp. 50 - 67
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×