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Justice Budget 2024 Expected To Build & Secure Stronger, Safer Communities.

  • Record budget of €3.5bn for Justice sector.
  • €2.3bn budget for An Garda Síochána is €172m increase on 2023.

Budget 2024 Highlights:

Garda:

  • Funding for Garda Vote up 23% (€430m) since 2020 to €2.3 billion.
  • Recruitment of between 800 and 1,000 new Gardaí and 250 additional Garda staff in 2024.
  • 66% increase in training allowance (to €305 per week).
  • €6m provided for wellbeing initiatives, medical costs and over 2,500 units of body armour.

The total gross allocation for the Garda Vote in 2024 is €2.31 billion, an increase of over €172m. This takes into account the pay increases payable under Building Momentum.
The extra €172million also includes provision for:

    Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Community Safety:

    • €12m increase in funding for Zero Tolerance strategy, including a new DSGBV agency, and support for the delivery of refuge accommodation.
    • An increase of €3.5m to a total of €7.9m for community safety initiatives including establishment of partnerships nationwide and a National Coordination Office.
    • A further €2.9m (+10%) in funding for Youth Justice Strategy bringing the total budget to over €33m.
    • €3.6m in additional funding for GoSafe speed cameras with a further €0.5m investment in CCTV schemes.

    Prisons/Probation:

    • Irish Prisons Service budget increased by over €27m to €439m.
    • An extra €9m in staffing to provide for 65,000 additional hours to deal with the current pressures and the recruitment of more prison officers.
    • €2.5m additional allocation for the Probation Service will fund expansion of JARC (joint agency response to crime), community service and restorative justice, providing effective alternatives to prison.

    Other:

    • €9m to make progress in restoring criminal legal aid fees with a 10% increase in early 2024. Following the Budget, more work will be undertaken with the legal professions on further strengthening criminal legal aid.
    • €1.4 million to provide courts staffing to support the additional judges nominated by the Government.
    • €21m to further accelerate International Protection processing, with 125 additional staff to be recruited by end 2024. €6m to continue the response to the war in Ukraine.
    • €5.5m to the Legal Aid Board to recruit new staff, increase investment in ICT and provide for additional costs directly related to the increase in immigration applications.
    • €2.2m to support victims of crime including the “Know your Rights” campaign and implementation of the new Human Trafficking Action Plan.
    • €4m for first year of new Gambling Regulatory Authority.

    Courts Vote:

    The total gross allocation for the Courts Vote in 2024 is €183 million, including capital funding of €67m.

    • The Courts Service will receive €1.4m for up to 35 additional staffing to directly support the work of new members of the Judiciary.
    • €1.4m more to provide for the progression of e-Probate and other elements of the Courts Modernisation Programme; to simplify the processes in court proceedings and make the services more accessible to all.
    • €2m in extra support to meet the additional operational costs across the Courts Service.

    Data Protection Commission:

    The total gross allocation for the Data Protection Commission Vote in 2024 is €27.9million.

    • The allocation for the Commission will continue to increase in 2024 and builds upon an increase of 60% since 2020 (€11m). This reflects the important role played by the Data Protection Commission in safeguarding privacy rights. The total allocation of almost €28m will provide for restructuring to a new three Commissioner operating model and the move to new headquarter premises in Dublin.

    Policing Authority:

    • The allocation of €4.4m will provide additional resources for the establishment of a new body the Policing and Community Safety Authority in 2024 which will replace the Authority and Garda Síochána Inspectorate.

    The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee today welcomed the significant increase in Budget allocation of over €3.27 billion in current expenditure plus €274m for capital projects for the Justice sector in 2024, with a particular focus on building stronger, safer communities.

    This unprecedented budget will strengthen the work of An Garda Síochána and the criminal justice sector to prevent and detect crime and protect communities; allow for the establishment of the new statutory agency to support victims and work to eliminate domestic, sexual and gender-based violence; and fund the nationwide rollout of Community Safety Partnerships.

    Budget 2024 continues to build investment in diverting young people away from involvement in crime, to make youth diversion projects available in every community in Ireland for the first time, with an increased focus on weekend activities and marginalised young people.

    It will also invest in our prisons, including new staff in a number of areas such as a Rapid Prison Building Unit to drive the Government’s intention to provide over 400 new prison spaces over the next 5 years.

    It also supports the development of effective alternatives to prison through a number of multi-agency projects which will also assist in dealing with the acute pressures in the prison system.

    Funding continues to grow in respect of the Department of Justice work in responding to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and in processing increased applications for international protection. Making more decisions and adjudicating on appeals quicker, while maintaining fair procedures, delivers for customers and relieves pressure elsewhere, supporting a balanced system.

    Budget 2024 supports the rollout of critical modernisation and digitisation needs across the Justice sector and facilitates further growth of the Data Protection Commission to safeguard people’s privacy.

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