In late 2009 and into 2010, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office initiated a project with young people detained in St. Patrick’s Institution, a closed, medium security prison managed by the Irish Prison Service which holds remand and sentenced young people between the age of 16 and 21.
Watch an extract from a short film to highlight young people's perspectives on detention in St Patrick's Institution, Dublin. Contact email@example.com for a free copy of the DVD in its entirety.
The aim of this project was to identify the issues facing the young people under 18 detained in St Pat’s through consultation with them and to bring these issues to the authorities within the Institution and the wider Prison Service in order to improve the situation for the young people until such a time that the young people are transferred to the new youth detention centre, scheduled to be completed in 2014.
Throughout the project the Ombudsman for Children’s team endeavoured to hear directly from young people about their experiences of detention in St. Patrick’s Institution; to highlight their perspectives, including their ideas for change regarding the regime and conditions of the Institution; and to facilitate due consideration, as appropriate of the young people’s views within St. Patrick’s Institution and at national policy and political levels.
The young people who participated in this project were consulted on a range of issues which were identified with reference to national and international standards on the detention of children such as the physical environment and accommodation; health care and promotion; education, training and recreation; contact with family, community and the outside world; protection and safety; disciplinary measures; inspections and complaints; and rehabilitation and reintegration.
The Ombudsman for Children’s report presents the findings of this consultation, her own recommendations and includes a formal response from the Irish Prison Service to the issues raised.
Fergus Woods - Assistant Governor, St. Patrick's Institution, Emily Logan - Ombudsman for Children, Hector McKellian - new Governor, St. Patrick's Institution, Colm Barclay - former Governor, St. Patrick's Institution