Project with young people in St Patrick's Institution
During 2009, the OCO started a special project with young people under 18 detained in St. Patrick’s Institution, a medium-security prison for 16 to 21 year olds.
This project follows on from previous visits by the Ombudsman for Children and OCO staff to the prison in 2007 and 2008 and an invitation to the Ombudsman for Children from the Governor of the St. Patrick’s Institution to meet with young people under 18 detained there.
The overall aim of the project is to support the young people who take part to share their experiences of and perspectives on different aspects of life in the Institution.Issues that they have shared their views on include; arrival and sentence planning; accommodation; health care; education and training; recreation; contact with family, community and the outside world; safety and protection; inspections and complaints; and preparing for release.
Read more on this project here.
The Ombudsman for Children has also submitted Advice on the proposed changes to the Children Act, 2001 - April 2006
In 2006, the Government referred proposed changes to the Children Act 2001 to the OCO for comment. The issues raised included: the introduction of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs); lowering the minimum age for criminal prosecution in certain cases and the gradual extension of the children detention school system to all children under the age of 18 years.
The OCO was of the opinion that these legislative changes could have major implications for the lives of children and young people. Consequently, the Ombudsman’s advice, submitted to Government in April 2006, focused on the need for compliance with the relevant international human rights standards on juvenile justice