The REPPP project were delighted to host an Open Information Session on the new Bail Supervision programme for children. Fiona Murphy , Manager Bail Supervision Service, Extern, Dublin gave a fascinating presentation on this innovative programme on the 12th of February 2018. Fiona outlined the background to the programme, and ts operations to date. The presentation was followed by a discussion.
Ireland has a relatively low use of detention for children. However, children on remand, that is, either awaiting trial or sentence, have continued to account for between 20-30 per cent of the detention population at any one time. While there are a now a range of non-custodial measures available for children who are convicted, problems arise in that the options for children pre-trial or pre-sentence are limited simply to ‘bail’ or ‘no bail’. Multi-Systemic Therapy [MST] (an evidence based programme from the United States), has been tested extensively in child welfare and some youth justice settings in a large number of jurisdictions. In 2016 an innovative programme was designed and piloted in Dublin as a new ‘bail supervision programme’ incorporating MST. This programme offers elevated levels of support and supervision for children who would be ordinarily remanded to detention. The strategic intention is that with such a programme the demand for detention for children will be further reduced.