Wednesday 3 July 2013: For immediate release
Alliance Welcomes Government Decision to Close St. Patrick’s Institution
The Alliance congratulates the Government on its decision to close St. Patrick’s Institution for young offenders within six months.
Maria Corbett, Acting Chief Executive says: “The continued detention of children and young people in St. Patrick’s has been a major blot on the Government’s human rights record. A commitment to close the facility is a most welcome announcement for which we commend the Government.
“Today’s decision to move 17-year-olds to a dedicated unit within Wheatfield Prison must be a temporary measure only. The development of a new child detention facility at the Oberstown campus must be progressed as a matter of urgency to ensure that all under 18s are moved there within the committed timeline of 2014.
“Conditions in St. Patrick’s have been of long concern to the Alliance. We first highlighted our serious concerns back in 1998 and 2006 to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, and in 2002, with the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We have reiterated our concerns for more than a decade with successive government Ministers.
“We spotlighted St. Patrick’s as a critical violation of children’s rights in our Report Card 2012, where we awarded an ‘F grade’ to the Government for its work in relation to children in detention. The commitment in April 2012 to end the detention of children under 18 in the facility was acknowledged and celebrated in Report Card 2013 with a ‘B+ grade’. We urge the Government to strive for an ‘A grade’ by completing the move of all under 18s out of the adult prison system.
For further information and interview bids, please contact:
Emma McKinley, Communications and Development Manager
Tel: (01) 662 9400 / 087 7702845
Notes to Editor:
Relevant articles within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 3, the best interests of the child; Article 37, to ensure that children detained by the State shall be separated from adults; and Article 40, the right of every child who has infringed penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of a child’s sense of dignity and worth, thereby promoting the child’s reintegration into society.