Estimates: Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (Cavan)


Mr GARDNER: Yes, can I have a question first? On Budget Paper 4, Volume 1, page 125, the objective is to ‘provide secure youth training facilities for young people who are detained.’ Minister, in Corrections estimates on Monday, minister Piccolo was asked about whether the government had any plans to utilise either of the youth justice facilities at Cavan to hold adult prisoners—especially at times of surge, is what I have in mind, but at any time. While he has said the government did not have any plans to do so, he refused to rule it out. Minister, can you please rule out any possibility that either of the youth justice facilities at Cavan will be utilised to hold adult prisoners?

The CHAIR: Before the minister answers, can the table just establish that this is part of your responsibilities?

Mr GARDNER: Yes; the gentleman on the right is responsible for Youth Justice.

The CHAIR: I am asking the minister, if that is alright. Is this part of your responsibilities?

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: Yes; the youth training facility is. We are signatory to both international and national conventions and standards in respect to detainment of children and young Wednesday, people in criminal justice systems. I am not aware of the situation that you have spoken about but I will ask Peter Bull to elaborate.

Mr BULL: The department has no plans to use either facility for adult prisoners at this point.

Mr GARDNER: And is the minister able to rule out, in this financial year, for example, that is upon is in this budget or indeed in the future, that either of those facilities will be used to hold adult prisoners?

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: I think Peter has made that clear.

Mr GARDNER: So that is a no? No to ruling it out, as minister Piccolo refused to?

The Hon. Z.L. BETTISON: Peter will just elaborate on the current situation.

Mr BULL: Just to be clear: we do have some residents that are over 18, but they are from the Youth Court orders. So, in terms of what we are talking about here—just to clarify; we are talking about prisoners that have come through the adult corrections—

Mr GARDNER: I am talking about prisoners sentenced as adults.

Mr BULL: Yes, that is right. There would be no possibility that we could put adult prisoners in either of those facilities in this financial year.

Mr GARDNER: And in future financial years, which was also part of the question?

Mr BULL: That is probably more a policy decision, but we have got no plans to do that.