22 Oct 2015
Children’s Rights Alliance questions use of ‘Single Separation’ in Oberstown Children Detention Campus
The Children’s Rights Alliance today responded to the publication of HIQA’s unannounced follow-up inspection of Oberstown Children Detention Campus.
The Oberstown facility is responsible for the care and education of young people committed to custody following conviction after a criminal offence.
Commenting on HIQA’s report, Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said today: "HIQA’s report names many pluses for Oberstown such as strong leadership, robust governance and new programmes to address offending behaviour. However, the service continues to struggle with the use of single separation.
Single separation is supposed to be used as a measure of last resort to deal with young people who are a risk to themselves and to others. While there were examples where it was used appropriately, HIQA also found situations where single separation was “routinely” being used for other reasons such as verbally threatening staff, inappropriate language and smoking.
Depriving a young person of social contact should be a measure of last resort. It should never be used as a form of punishment or discipline.”
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs recently announced a review of the use of single separation. It is vital that HIQA’s report is acted on as part of that review.
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