Seirbhís na hÉireann um Cheartas i leith an Aosa Óig


Welcome to the Irish Youth Justice Service

Our mission is to create a safer society by working in partnership to reduce youth offending through appropriate interventions and linkages into services.


About Us

The Irish Youth Justice Service is located in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). It has responsibility for leading and driving reform in the area of youth justice. It is staffed by officials from DCYA and the Department of Justice and Equality.


Responsibility for the Children Act, 2001 is shared between the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Minister for Justice and Equality:-

  • The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(MCYA) is responsible for the 3 Children Detention Schools at Oberstown, Lusk, Co. Dublin which provide detention places to the Courts for girls up to the age of 18 years and boys up to the age of 17 years, with effect from 1 May, 2012, ordered to be remanded or committed on criminal charges. MCYA is also responsible for the child care aspects of the Children Act 2001.

  • The Minister for Justice and Equality retains responsibility for youth crime policy and law, including crime prevention/reduction/detection, criminal proceedings and diversion and community sanctions (including community projects).  The Minister also retains responsibility for dealings with An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service as well as responsibility via the Irish Prison Service for children in St. Patrick’s Institution.


The Irish Youth Justice Service aims to improve the delivery of youth justice services and reduce youth offending. This challenge is met by focusing on diversion and rehabilitation involving greater use of community-based interventions and the promotion of initiatives to deal with young people who offend. Providing a safe and secure environment for detained children and supporting their early re-integration back into the community is also a key function.


The National Youth Justice Strategy 2008-2010 is underpinned by the Children Act, 2001 and focuses on young people who have already had some contact with the criminal justice system.


The Tackling Youth Crime- Youth Justice Action Plan 2014 - 2018 was launched in February 2014. The Youth Justice Action Plan 2014-2018 will form part of the National Anti-Crime Strategy being developed by the Department of Justice and Equality as part of the White Paper on Crime process, with its focus on crime reduction and safer communities. It will also be part of the Children and Young People’s Policy Framework (CYPPF) being developed in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, with its focus on better outcomes for children and families.


For additional information in relation to the Irish Youth Justice Service please see