A. Service overview and contact details
Focus of restorative justice activities
Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) are community-based, multi-agency crime prevention initiatives, which seek to divert young people from becoming further involved or involved in crime/anti-social behaviour and to support wider preventative work within the community and with families at risk. A number of GYDPs use restorative practices (RP) in their work and a bespoke RP training programme with the specific needs of GYDPs in mind has been developed and will be rolled out to all GYDPs in 2021.
Year of commencement
Best Practice Development Team (BPDT)
The Temperance Hall
Head of Restorative Practice Services
There are 105 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) that are managed locally by Community Based Organisations (CBOs) located in communities around the country. Staff are employed by the CBOs, including Youth Work Ireland member organisations, Foroíge, Crosscare, Extern and Independent agencies. The numbers of staff vary between the projects.
The GYDP Best Practice Development Team (BPDT) is a multi-agency initiative consisting of team members from Foróige, Crosscare, Youth Work Ireland Galway, and the Independent Network.
Staff Training in restorative justice
The BPDT, in conjunction with Ulster University and a team of trainers from the GYDP network, have developed an RP training programme tailored to GYDPs. The primary aim of the training is to increase the knowledge and understanding of restorative practices as a way of being and, in the first phase of training, to look at practices in relation to conversations and circles to assist in day-to-day encounters. While many projects use restorative approaches in their work, the national roll out of this training will provide a structure for implementing restorative practices consistently across the GYDP network. This training will commence in 2021.
Each Community-Based Organisation (CBO) is responsible for ensuring that all project staff are suitably qualified and have access to and receive relevant up-to-date, evidence-based training in line with national and international best practice. The purpose of the BPDT is to support Youth Justice Workers (YJWs) in developing and supporting practice across the network of GYDPs. This is achieved through the identification of emerging training and development needs and the design and implementation of a range of targeted responses in line with best practice.
Volunteer training in restorative justice
Main source(s) of funding
GYDPs are co-funded by the Department of Justice and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020, and the Dormant Account Fund.
In 2020, €15.6m was allocated to GYDPs.
Nature of funding
GYDPs are financed by way of a funding agreement between the CBO and the Department of Justice. This is subject to year-on-year approval of the GYDP Annual Plan submitted by the management agencies to the Department of Justice and the Garda Youth Diversion Programme Office.
GYDPs are administered by the Department of Justice in partnership with the Garda Youth Diversion Programme Office. Each project is managed by a Community Based Organisation, including Youth Work Ireland member organisations Foróige, Crosscare, Extern and independent agencies.
Target client group
Projects are primarily targeted at 12-17-year-old ‘at risk’ youths in communities. A GYDP seeks to divert young people from becoming involved (or further involved) in anti-social or criminal behaviour.
Nature of offences
Anti-social or criminal behaviour.
Source of referrals
Juvenile Liaison Officers, other Gardaí, schools, youth groups, parents, peers and self-referrals.
Geographic area of activity
105 GYDPs provide services across the country.
B. Nature of RJ service
Model(s) of RJ services provided
- Restorative approach to working, restorative conversations
These are used by a number of GYDPs and training will be rolled out in 2021 to enable all GYDPs to do likewise.
Main process elements and short description of each model that the service provides
See Slaney Garda Youth Diversion Project for more information.
Number of cases per annum
Offender age and gender breakdown
C. Sources of information
Garda Youth Diversion Office: Information Leaflet for The Diversion Programme for Young Offenders
Irish Youth Justice Service: Garda Youth Diversion Projects
An Garda Síochána: Garda Youth Diversion Bureau
Citizens Information: Garda Youth Diversion Programme
Garda Youth Diversion and Crime Prevention Bureau: Annual Report of the Committee Appointed to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion Programme 2017
An Garda Síochána: Annual Report 2018
Irish Youth Justice Service: Garda Youth Diversion Projects Operational Requirements
Funding and Other Reports
Department of Justice and Equality: Funding of Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs) under the European Social Fund (ESF) Operational Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014 -2020