Monday 11 December 2017

Judge demands explanation about psychological assessments in detention centre

Tom Tuite

A JUDGE has demanded an explanation after hearing that a young offender detention centre stops providing psychological assessments for detainees during the summer months.

A 14-year-old boy was before the Dublin Children's Court today facing a charge for possessing bolt-cutters for use in a motor theft offence.

The offence allegedly happened on June 7 in north Dublin after which the teenager agreed to be held on remand at Trinity House, a juvenile detention centre in north Co. Dublin.

After spending a week there, the teenager appeared at the Dublin Children's Court today.

Judge Ann Ryan was told that the past week had been an “induction” for the boy, and he was to go back there for another two weeks for psychological assessments of him to be carried out.

The judge ordered a further remand in custody for that to be done and for a report to be prepared for the court. The teenager indicated that he understood the decision but the judge was then told that it had just been learned that the assessments would not be possible.

A garda sergeant told the court that he had confirmed with the detention centre's deputy director that “there are no assessments during the summer”.

However it was possible that it would be done if it gets the go ahead from Irish Youth Justice Service, a section of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the judge heard.

Judge Ryan said she wanted an explanation from the Irish Youth Justice Service and adjourned the case until tomorrow.

“We want someone who can make a decision not someone who is going to go and ask what is to happen,” she said.

The teenager, who was accompanied to his case by his mother and a youth worker, has not yet indicated how he will plead to his charge and was further remanded in custody to appear again tomorrow.

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