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Evaluation of the Bail Supervision Scheme

Start date: May 2018  Final Report Published: December 2019

Principle Investigator: Sean Redmond, Lead Researcher: Catherine Naughton Documentary Analysis: John Reddy


Presentation of the 2019 Community Corrections Award for the Bail Supervision Scheme at the Correctional Excellence Awards in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 



The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) commissioned EXTERN to provide a pilot bail supervision scheme (BSS) in November 2016. The scheme involves the collaboration with multiple state agencies active in the lives of children who would have ordinary been remanded to detention.



Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Irish Youth Justice Services, EXTERN, An Garda Síochána, The Court Service, The Probation Service, Oberstown Children’s Detention Campus, TUSLA



A contribution analysis retrospectively evaluated the BSS in relation to

  1. Processes (including implementation)
  2. Inputs/Outputs
  3. Confidence in the scheme (by collaborative agencies)
  4. Impact - Outcomes (Behavioural change including reduced offending and adherence to bail conditions).

A quasi-experiential design evaluated the BSS in relation to

1. Outcomes (offending levels)

We collected and triangulated various forms of evidence (both administration and primary data) to test a theory of change model.

  1. In partnership with the Garda Analysis Services a quasi-experimental design was used to compare Police crime data (offending levels)  for the young people who were enrolled in the BSS with a matched group of young people who were remanded to custody (external to the pilot area). We compared offending levels of the two cohorts six months prior to BSS intervention with their offending levels six months post BSS.
  2. A documentary analysis of EXTERN administrative data assessed children’s behavioural changes and the implementation of BSS.
  3. An analysis of EXTERN and IYJS administration data analysed input, output and remand trends.
  4. An inductive analysis of interviews with children, their caregivers, key stakeholders who have first-hand experience of BSS, and management facilitated theory building on the processes which impact positive children’s behavioural change  and adherence to bail conditions. This design also assessed the implementation of BSS and perceptions and confidence of the courts/stakeholders in BSS. 



1. Initial findings presented in DCYA offices Dublin in May 2019

2. Final report published in December 2019 and can be access through


3. Report to facilitate Implementation, February 2020


Future Funding

The evaluation findings provided the primary evidence to secure the funding to

1. Mainstream the pilot programme in Dublin (Children Court, Smithfield)

2. Extend the Bail Supervision Scheme to two other locations in Ireland (Limerick and Cork). Planned commencement January 2021



The evaluation findings provided evidence to secure

1. International Community Corrections Award at the Correctional Excellence Awards in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The awards are organised by the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA). (November 2019)

2. Excellence through Collaboration award at the Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards (November 2019)