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Consultation on custodial arrangements for children in Northern Ireland – 18 October 2013

The Department of Justice are currently undertaking a fourteen week consultation on the future custodial arrangements for children in Northern Ireland. Specifically, the Consultation flows from a recommendation of the Youth Justice Review in 2011 that all children requiring punishment through detention in custody should be placed only in Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre, with Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre deemed unsuitable for the custody of children.

Although this recommendation has been acted on administratively, with all youth prisoners removed from Hydebank YOC by 1 November 2012, options are being consulted on in respect of implementing legislation to give legal effect to these changes and on any potential consequences of such legislation. The Consultation is confined to this specific issue in terms of legislation and respondents are asked to bear this in mind and to avoid making broader comments about wider Youth Justice Policy.

Responses to the Consultation must be received by the DOJ by 17.00 on 10 January 2014.