Councillor Noel Collins called on Cork County Council to urge the Government to make more funding available for the provision of additional juvenile hostels.
The East Cork Councillor told Tuesday’s (28 October) sitting that the problem with dealing with juvenile crime was the fragmentation of services. Homelessness is one aspect of the problem he said.
“Traditionally boys became homeless but an increasing number of young girls are doing so now. Various reasons are put forward for this including the breakdown of family communication, the decline of the extended family and marital breakdown to name a few. Not enough hostels are provided whether by statutory agents or the voluntary section to deal with homelessness, which is becoming a major concern. ”
In passing councillor Collins congratulated Fr. Peter Mcvery for his outstanding work in the area of youth homelessness in Dublin.
Councillor Collins added “the importance of sport has been greatly under estimated in the way of keeping children out of trouble. Communities which have sporting facilities and community leaders are fortunate because children are motivated occupied and acquire self esteem from being involved in sport. Communities which lack those skills and leadership need state help. The role of sporting organisation’s particularly in the voluntary sector cannot be over emphasised. Those involved in those organisations are the salt of the earth and show enormous dedication. Every effort should be made to encourage these armature organisations as there is no doubt there activities give a sense of motivation and importance for many people. Anyone who is involved in group sport is more unlikely to end up as a young offender. It would be a shame to lose that sense of community and voluntary effort. Recognition of that effort through an allocation of lottery funds would pay great dividend so I hope the government will take note. As I said at the outset a major problem with dealing with people with juvenile crime is the fragmentation of services. After care for people released from places of retention remains a live issue often many left to fend for themselves, hence the need for hostels come rehabilitation. Locking children up with adult criminals is a recipe for disaster, the problem is mentioned in our courts of justice on a regular basis” he Said.