Source: (2002) In, Nicholas Bala, et. al., eds. Juvenile Justice Systems: An International Comparison of Problems and Solutions. Pp. 135-151.

In this chapter, David O’Mahony addresses the matter of juvenile crime and the operation of the juvenile justice system in Northern Ireland. According to O’Mahony, Northern Ireland has a relatively low juvenile crime rate. The juvenile courts in Northern Ireland deal with youth from ten to sixteen years of age, inclusive. There is an emphasis in the system on specialized juvenile police units to deal with young offenders. Only about ten percent of cases end up in court. In this regard, there have been efforts to limit the use of courts and custody even further, and to increase the use of determinate sentencing. To fill in this framework, O’Mahony provides a demographic profile of Northern Ireland, identifies trends in offending behavior by juveniles, and outlines the structure and procedures of the juvenile justice system in Northern Ireland.