11th July 2022
Oberstown has published its annual report for the year 2021. The report outlines a number of key developments made in providing care for young people in custody, in addition to progression pathways for those leaving the facility.
Figures of Oberstown in 2021 showed:
The Oberstown model of care, termed in the report as the CEHOP framework covered five pillars: care, education, health, offending behaviour, and preparation for leaving. These pillars are additionally encompassed within the Children’s Rights Policy framework, which became operational on the campus in September 2021, according to the report. The Framework sets out the rights to which young people are entitled, the standards of care they can expect and the responsibilities of Oberstown’s staff, the Director and the Board, to deliver care that measures up to the highest international standards. This framework is also used by HIQA when carrying out investigations and inspections within the facility.
The report speaks to notable progress in terms of youth participation within the detention facility in addition to the introduction of several new rehabilitation programs being launched. When recruitment began to fill the Director and Deputy Director roles, young people participated in a tailored interview process, which they co-created in consultation with their peers and with the support of the Advocacy Officer, the Chief People Officer and the Chairperson of the Board, involving them directly in the recruitment process. The young people also engaged with the Advocacy Group on a number of daily issues such as reviews of food services, experiences of attending court, review of campus operations, among others. New programs such as smoking prevention, knife crime prevention, Driver Behaviour (run by Pro-Social Ireland for young people who have driving convictions), and #askconsent were also introduced.
12 young people were recorded as having qualified as fitness instructors, whilst others received Barista training and were able to further hone their skills using equipment provided by Java Republic. Summer school was also in operation with 450 activities classes per week, in addition to 13 Gaisce awards achieved by young people, demonstrating months and years long commitments.
The annual report notes that HIQA carried out an inspection in 2021 using the Children’s Rights Policy Framework. Overall, the inspection report noted positive relationships between young people and staff, concluding that young people were well cared for and were satisfied that there was a wide variety of education, training, and self-development available to the young people. Areas for improvement highlighted by HIQA included:
According to the report, following the inspection, action plans were agreed between the Oberstown Director, and HIQA and the implementation of these actions was to be monitored monthly by the Board of Management.
Read the full Oberstown Children Detention Campus Annual Report 2021 here.
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.