If a child gets into trouble with the law, the Gardaí may decide to caution him/her and keep him/her under supervision rather than go to Court. This form of diversion for children was started in 1963 and, because it has been so successful, the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme exists across the country and is included as part of the Children Act 2001.
A child suspected of an offence is referred to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme. In 2005, there were 17,567 children referred to the programme and 75% were issued a caution.
A child may also agree, as part of a caution, a number of actions which he/she will do to address the hurt that they have caused. This can include an apology to the victim, a form of compensation, a curfew or to take part in a sporting or recreational activity. Children on the programme may also be referred to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects.
Contact your local Garda Station for details of your Juvenile Liason Officer