Garda Youth Diversion Programme

Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLOs) work with children who have committed offences and liaise with their families and victims about their behaviour as part of the Garda Youth Diversion programme. In all cases, a local Juvenile Liaison Officer (JLO) will make contact with and meet the young person to discuss the offending behaviour and to assess whether he or she can be cautioned or whether to proceed with formal court process of charge and prosecution. In the case of a minor offence, the JLO will initially give an informal caution to the young person responsible or, in the case of a more serious offence, a formal caution is given in a Garda Station by the JLO or a more senior Garda. If a young person is given a caution, she/he may be placed under the supervision of the JLO for a period of 12 months. The nature of the supervision will be decided upon by the JLO and will vary from case to case. For instance, it may involve the young person agreeing to engage in certain activities, attendance at a youth project or it may require the young person to report on particular occasions to the JLO or another Garda.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the Garda Youth Diversion Programme, a young person who has committed an offence must admit responsibility for their criminal or anti-social behaviour and generally consent to be admitted to the programme and, if necessary, being supervised by JLO. The Director of the Diversion Programme, after due consideration of different aspects of the case, makes the final decision about admission to the programme.

Referral: Referral by Garda

Contact details: Local Garda station