Closing the Door on St. Patrick's Institution is a Welcome Move for Children

Published date: 
3 Dec 2015
 

Closing the Door on St. Patrick’s Institution is a Welcome Move for Children 

 
The Children’s Rights Alliance has today warmly welcomed the publication of the Prisons Bill 2015 by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. This Bill allows for the complete and long overdue closure of St Patrick’s Institution. 
 
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says: “Up to now, St. Patrick’s Institution has represented one of the most serious children’s rights breaches in Ireland. Young people aged 16 and 17 years have been routinely imprisoned within the facility, which is effectively an adult prison. The Institution has also been heavily and repeatedly criticised over the years by a slew of independent inspection reports for its failure to protect children’s rights.
 
Delivering on one of the most important Programme for Government commitments, we are delighted that the Bill will repeal all court powers of detention at the Institution and allow it to be completely closed by Ministerial order.  
 
Closing St. Patrick’s is not a politically popular move but it is definitely the right thing to do for children. We commend the Government and Minister Fitzgerald for their commitment to progressing this important Bill.
 
It is now vital that every effort is made to ensure that the National Children Detention Facility for those in the youth justice system embeds children’s rights principles into all elements of its operation and regime.”
 
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For further information, please contact: 
Emma McKinley, Communications & Development Manager 
Tel: 01 662 9400 / 087 655 9067 or email emma@childrensrights.ie
 
Note for Editors
•         Tanya Ward, Chief Executive is available for interview. 
•         The Prisons Bill is available at http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2015/11015/b11015s.pdf 
•         The Children’s Rights Alliance has been campaigning for the closure of St. Patrick’s Institution since its establishment in 1995.