Incidents of 'single separation' in the children’s detention centre reduced 44% last year

Incidents of 'single separation' in the children’s detention centre reduced 44% last year

The number of incidents of 'single separation' in the children’s detention centre reduced by 44% last year.

A former prison governor says it means the environment in Oberstown has improved significantly.

‘Single separation’ involves a child being moved away from their peers on campus due to their behaviour, which may pose a risk to the safety of others or themselves.

Sometimes, it is because they are violent or aggressive or have drugs in their possession.

There were 1,326 incidents of ‘single separation’ in Oberstown Children’s Detention Campus in 2018 – but only 749 last year.

John Lonergan, a former governor of Mountjoy Prison, says it's very welcome news.

“It indicates a vast improvement in overall atmosphere and environment and relationships in the centre,” he said.

“What it means is that there are fewer incidents, fewer misbehaviours of a serious nature, there’s less conflict and as a result of that there is less tension.

“So it indicates an improvement in relationships.

“That has many, many positive spin-offs.”

Oberstown says there has been a big reduction in the use of separation in the campus in the past number of years.

It says there has been a big focus on monitoring the use of single separation to ensure it's used sparingly.

This article was updated at 11.30am.


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