Diversion Programme

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					                                                      •    agree to be cautioned,
          The Diversion                                                                              WHO DECIDES IF A PERSON IS
                                                                                                        SUITABLE OR NOT?
                                                      •   where appropriate agree to terms of
                                                          supervision.                               The decision to include a person in the
                                                                                                     Diversion Programme is made by a Garda
          INTRODUCTION                            The views of any victim will also be
                                                                                                     Superintendent in the Garda Office for
                                                                                                     Children and Youth Affairs who is known as
                                                  considered however the victim does not have        the Director of the Programme. In making
                                                  a veto on a young person being accepted into       his/her decision the Director may consider
When a person under 18 years of age is            the programme. The Superintendent at the               • The nature of the offence
responsible for a crime the matter can be dealt   Office of Children and Youth Affairs is                • The views of the victim
with in one of two ways;                          responsible for making that decision.                  • The interests of society
 1. the young person can be cautioned or                                                                 • The views of the arresting Garda
2. brought before the courts.                                                                            • The views of the J.L.O.
                                                     HOW DOES THE PROCESS                                • The attitude and views of the young
Before any young person is brought before the              WORK ?                                            person who offended
courts s/he must first be considered for a                                                               • The views of the young persons
caution. The decision to caution or prosecute                                                                parents or guardian
is made by a Garda Superintendent at the                                                                 • Whether an apology has been made
                                                  In all cases a local Juvenile Liaison Officer
Garda Office of Children and Youth Affairs.                                                              • Whether or not any form of reparation
                                                  (JLO) will make contact with and meet the                  has been made
This alternative programme for dealing with       young person and discuss the offending
young people who commit an offence or                                                                    • The child’s previous involvement in
                                                  behaviour. This meeting may take place in the              the programme
crime is known as the Diversion Programme.        child’s home or in the Garda Station. The
                                                  child and the child’s parent/s or guardian will
                                                  have to be present. A discussion will take place        WHAT IS SUPERVISION?
   TERMS AND CONDITIONS                           during which the offending behaviour will be
           APPLY                                  challenged and the young person will be
                                                  expected to undertake not to offend in the         If a young person is given a caution s/he may
                                                  future. The J.L.O. and the family will endeavor    be placed under the supervision of the J.L.O.
Before a young person can be considered           to support whatever efforts the young person       for a period of 12 months. The nature of the
suitable for being cautioned there are a          is willing to make to prevent any future           supervision will be decided upon by the JLO
number of criteria that must be fulfilled.        offending behaviour. The caution will be           and will vary from case to case. For instance, it
                                                  given by a J.L.O., a Garda Inspector or the        may involve the young person agreeing to
The young person must                             local Superintendent.                              engage in certain activities, attendance at an
                                                                                                     appropriate course of treatment or it may
        take responsibility for the offending                                                        require the young person to report on particular
                                                                                                     occasions to the J.L.O. or other Garda.
      RESTORATIVE JUSTICE                             commencing a prosecution against you in the
In certain cases the victim of a crime or offence
will be given the opportunity to have a face to       Is a caution a conviction?
face meeting with the young person who                No. However, it will be recorded at the Office
committed the offending behaviour. The                for Children and Youth Affairs and can be
purpose of this meeting is to give the victim an      given in a court at the point of conviction for a
                                                      subsequent offence.
opportunity to tell their story and to confront
the offender in a controlled way and to explain
                                                                                                           THE DIVERSION
how the behaviour impacted on them. It is also        Can I be charged and brought to court on
                                                      my first offence?
an opportunity for the victim to seek assurances
from the offender that the behaviour will not         Yes. If the Director of the Programme decides
re-occur. It is an opportunity to try to repair any   that you are not suitable for the programme.
harm that has been done and to attempt to
restore matters to where they were prior to the       Can I get more than one caution?
offence.                                              Yes. If the Director considers it appropriate.

If you, as the young person who offended,             Is the Diversion Programme law?
are willing to meet the victim of your                Yes. It is contained in Part 4 of the Children Act
behaviour, it is important that you tell this         2001.
to the J.L.O. when s/he calls to meet with
you.                                                   HOW TO MAKE CONTACT
                                                          Garda Office for Children and
       FREQUENTLY ASKED                                          Youth Affairs,
                                                               Harcourt Sq, Dublin 2.
What is a Juvenile Liaison Officer?
A Juvenile Liaison Officer or a J.L.O. is a Garda
who works full time with young people who
come in contact with the law.                           Call 01 666 3831/32/33/34
How do I find out who my local J.L.O. is?              Further information available on the Garda
You may contact your local Garda Station or                    Web Site at:                   An Garda Síochána
the Garda Office for Children and Youth
Affairs who will tell you.                             E-mail:

If I do not agree to be included in the               YOUR JUVENILE LIAISON OFFICER IS
Diversion Programme what will happen?
The case will be referred to your local
Superintendent who will then consider