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Concerns raised over use of single separation at Oberstown – Mitchell

8 November, 2017 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has said she is deeply concerned by HIQA inspections which raised issues relating to the use of single separation at the Oberstown Children Detention Campus.

Deputy Mitchell was speaking after the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs had the chance to question Campus Director Patrick Bergin on Wednesday:

“The recent HIQA report raises a number of concerns, in particular reports of young people being held in isolation for very long periods without clear reasoning. In one incident records show that the first time a particular child was allowed out for exercise in the fresh air was on the eighth day after initial separation. That seems excessive. The use of single separation must be a very last resort and I welcome commitments from Oberstown management that more robust practices are now in place to monitor and review its use into the future.”

Deputy Mitchell also raised concerns around staff training:

“While I recognise there has been a significant increase in up-to-date training completed by staff in various areas, I am still concerned that less than half of staff at Oberstown have up-to-date training in First Aid. In an environment which deals with children and young people with challenging behaviours it is my belief that up-to-date First Aid training must be a priority.” 

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