Superintendent Aileen Magner with Juvenile Liaison Officer Pat Hegarty, Minister of State at the Department of Justice Deputy David Stanton, Superintendent Joe O'Connor, Sergent John O'Leary, Liam Doyle, Juvenile Liaison Officer John Hurley and Paddy duffy of the Irish Youth Justice Service.

An Garda Siochana have been working quietly alongside the Cloyne Youth Diocesan Service to engage with children and their families in a proactive programme to reduce and prevent crime in their communities.
Last Friday 20 October Garda top brass and the Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service celebrated 25 years of working vulnerable youth.
Former service user Justin Leogue spoke candidly about how the garda youth diversion project kept him on the straight and narrow.
Mr Leogue was taken under the wing of the Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services outreach project over 10 years ago, where he was given one on one support to overcome his issues.
Now a father Mr Leogue admitted he had gotten into trouble with the Gardaí when he was younger but the Youth Diversion project had given him the confidence to go out and get a job.
“When we were getting into fights they set up boxing clubs for us, but I didn’t become a boxer. When we were drawing on walls they set up an art project, but I never became an artist. When we were kicking balls around a field they set up football matches, but I never became a footballer.
But also, when I was getting into trouble with the guards, they said they were there for me, but I never became a criminal.”
Mr Leogue was speaking at the launch of two mobile support projects in My Place Youth Centre in Midleton.
The event also marked a quarter of a century of Garda youth Diversion projects in the North Cork division which covers Cobh, Midleton Fermoy and Mallow.
Juvenile liaison officers have been working with the youth organisation in Cobh for the past 15 years and in Mallow for the last 10 years.
The service has already reached hundreds of young people which has prompted the Department of Justice to invest in two mobile pilot schemes for the North Cork Division.
Historically diversion projects operate at local level in a strict catchment area helping to divert young offenders aged 12 to 18 away from the criminal courts.
The new pilot service will now provide support and intervention in the rural areas and towns like Midleton, Fermoy, Charleville, Buttivant, Mitchelstown and Kanturk.
Just under €15million has been allocated to the Irish Youth Justice Service to deliver Garda Youth Diversion schemes for 2017, to work with groups like CDYS working with young people on the fringes.
Superintendent Aileen Magner said the preventative power of these projects is “immeasurable”.
“The money required to finance these projects is absolutely miniscule in comparison to the millions that it would have cost the state if those more exposed children referred to these projects ended up in the courts and the prison system.”
The senior Garda said, “early intervention has brought young people back from the brink of serious criminality, saved families and most definitely saved lives.”

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