Source: (2002) In, Nicholas Bala, et. al., eds. Juvenile Justice Systems: An International Comparison of Problems and Solutions. Pp. 153-187.

According to Kieran O’Dwyer, Ireland has a relatively large youth population. The issue of youth crime has received considerable public attention, and major reforms have been undertaken recently (in particular, reforms associated with the Children Act 2001). Yet, claims O’Dwyer, youth crime rates in Ireland are relatively low in comparison to some other countries. Youth crime tends to be more serious among those from disadvantaged backgrounds and among school dropouts. Drug addiction and related criminal behavior are major concerns. Specially trained police officers deal with most juvenile offenders, and a majority of cases are dealt with informally. O’Dwyer details the situation in Ireland through a demographic profile of the country, a summary of social policy issues related to children and youth, an overview of trends in offending behavior by juveniles, and an examination of the juvenile justice system in Ireland.