O’Brien welcomes announcement that children won’t be put in prison anymore
Speaking following the Government announcement that capital funding of €50million has been secured to build a replacement facility for St. Patrick’s Institution, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien welcomed the move, stating that how they progressed from here would show how committed they are to reforming the way children are dealt with in the justice system.
The Cork North Central TD stated;
“I welcome the announcement from the Minister for Children that capital funding has finally been secured to build a replacement facility. It is long overdue. This is an issue that Sinn Féin have raised in the Dáil time and time again over the years, so we are glad that the Government have finally started to listen. It was never appropriate to put children in St. Patrick’s Institution with young adult prisoners. There are 44 children under 18 in St. Pat’s today, who should be in an institution that is more appropriate to their needs.
"I look forward to seeing detailed proposals of how the Government are going to progress this matter.
“Furthermore, while I am happy to see the St. Pat’s announcement, it would be remiss to not also state that there must also be an overhaul of how youth justice is dealt with. It would be better for children to not end up in a position where they are in a secure unit because of wrongdoing. The Minister for Children must now work with the Minister for Justice in order to ensure that children never end up in the criminal justice system in the first place.”