An increase of around 6.3%
The number of children referred to the Garda Diversion Programme in Kilkenny and Carlow increased.
In 2015, 252 children were referred, while 268 children were referred in 2016. That’s an increase of around 6.3%.
Social Democrats' TD Róisín Shortall asked the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality David Stanton for these statistics, along with the figures for 2017.
The 2017 figures are currently unavailable, but Mr Stanton has requested them from An Garda Síochána.
Kilkenny and Carlow’s increase in referrals contrasts with the overall national decrease in referrals.
The national total in 2015 was 9,807, and it decreased to 9,451 in 2016.
There has been a consistent national decline, with 9,991 referrals in 2014, and 10,420 referrals in 2013.
Out of the 28 regions, Kilkenny and Carlow were the eighteenth highest in 2015.
Despite the increase in referrals in 2016, they remained in eighteenth place.
In 2016, Dublin Metropolitan Region Western were the highest with 683 referrals, while Sligo and Leitrim were the lowest with 148 referrals.
The number of cases outside of any jurisdiction went from 133 in 2015, to zero in 2016.
There was a decrease in referrals in the South-Eastern region (which is made up of Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford).
It went from 1,151 referrals in 2015, to 1,078 in 2016.
An informal caution was the most likely outcome for a child to receive in 2015 and 2016.
Second was to be recommended as unsuitable for the diversion programme.
After that, they were most likely to get (in descending order): a formal caution, a restorative caution and finally no further action.
Mr Stanton said to note that ‘referrals’ records the number of instances for which young people were referred for consideration for diversion, and that some young offenders were referred in relation to several incidents.