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The Greentown Project


Research Evidence into Policy Programmes and Practice

The Greentown project is part of REPPP, a project to significantly improve the evidence base in relation to youth crime policy making in Ireland. The project, which was launched in September 2017, is fully funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Sean Redmond, a civil servant from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, has been seconded for three years to lead this project. The REPPP project is a new type of venture, moving from a relationship with government departments based on commissioning individual research projects to a longer term strategic relationship, jointly tackling complicated policy challenges. Sean will outline the background to the REPPP project, its emerging multi-faceted work-plan, and opportunities for colleagues to support and collaborate with the project.

Under this research strategy, the School of Law at UL is committed to breaking down the narrow confines of discipline specialism to provide integrative and holistic research possibilities that are translational in character. As a multidisciplinary project, REPPP seeks extensive contributions beyond the more specialised legal sphere.

Greentown Project

Greentown is a study into the involvement of children in adult criminal networks at the School of Law, University of Limerick.

The research team consists of principal investigator, Professor Sean Redmond, and researchers Eoin O’Meara Daly, John Reddy, and Dr Catherine Naughton. The Greentown project is part of the Research Evidence into Policy Programmes and Practice project (REPPP) located in the CCJVS (Centre for Crime, Justice and Victim Studies) in the School of Law at UL. The Greentown project is supported by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Justice and Equality, the Irish Youth Justice Service, and the Irish Research Council. The study builds on initial research carried out between 2010 and 2014 in a locality anonymised as “Greentown”. The research team is currently engaging in a replication study in two other locations to investigate whether the initial findings are experienced elsewhere across the country.

The full report on the original Greentown project can be found here: DCYA Greentown Full Report, with the key findings of the original Greentown project located here: DCYA Greentown Key Findings.

Greentown Programme Design

The programme design project is aimed at developing new effective responses to the problem of children’s engagement with local criminal networks in Ireland. Based on the findings of the original Greentown study, the challenge has been set as two-fold:

  1. Reduce the influence of criminal networks on child offending
  2. Improve pro-social outcomes for children involved in criminal networks

The process follows a deliberate programme-building sequence designed to respond to complex policy issues, problem definition, solution identification, and detailed programme design. It involves a range of national and international experts with extensive experience in the areas of youth offending, social network analysis, law enforcement, child welfare, governance, research and evaluation, and policy and programme design. The panel has been identified as optimal and complimentary for the complex challenges involved.