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Alison Coyne

Alison Coyne (IRC Employment-Based Scholar)

Supervisor(s): Professor Ian O’Donnell 

Thesis Title: Custodial Transitions:  Are the needs of young adults, who transition from Oberstown Children Detention Campus to custodial and non-custodial settings, being met in Ireland?


Abstract: This PhD research project is being undertaken in fulfilment of the PhD Law Programme in University College Dublin and co-funded by the Irish Research Council and the Probation Service. As this co-funded programme is part of a wider initiative that links the researcher with workplace experience, the author has dual status as an employee of Deonach and as a PhD candidate. The aim of the research is to identify the needs of young adults as they transition from youth justice services and agencies to custodial and non-custodial settings. Young adults, aged 18 to 24 years, is a cohort that accounts for 9% of the general population of Ireland but accounted for 21.7% of those committed to prison in 2018 (Irish Prison Service Annual Report, 2018). Findings from the research should inform specific and tailored approaches for the management of this group as identified in the Irish Youth Justice Strategy 2021–2027 strategic objectives 2.13 and 2.15, which state that protocols will be developed ‘for the management and care of young adult offenders aged 18–24 in the prison system’ and provision made for enhanced services upon their ‘release from prison’.

Biography: Alison graduated from UCD in 2016 with a 2.1 Law with Politics BCL. She then graduated with a 2.1 LLM in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UCD in 2018. Alison is an IRC Employment-Based Scholar, funded by The Probation Service. 

Alison is an active member of the ACJRD, the Irish Women Lawyers Association, UCD Right’s Education Network, and the Irish Penal Reform Trust. The future of justice in Ireland requires specialists, creative innovators, and passionate activists. The intersection of the Irish youth justice service and the adult justice system requires attention, knowledge, and researchers with holistic, interdisciplinary approaches. This research will enable Alison to specialise in a pivotal area of reform, inform policy, and shape the future of justice in Ireland for this cohort.

UCD Sutherland School of Law

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.