Youth Justice work involves working with young people involved in, or at risk of being involved in, crime and antisocial behaviour in order to help them make positive life choices. KDYS partners with An Garda Siochana and Irish Youth Justice Service to ensure a service is available for all young people in the Kerry Garda Division.

The KEY Service

Pre 2015 there were 6 Garda Youth Diversion projects in Kerry. Each project was linked to a specific geographical area. In 2013 in partnership with the Gardaí and Irish Youth Justice the KDYS embarked on a pilot programme that would see a Youth Justice service being offered across the entire Kerry Garda division. The pilot proved extremely successful and in 2015 Kerry became the first county in Ireland to provide full youth justice coverage across an entire Garda Division. There are now 13 KDYS Youth Justice workers who work hand in hand with JLOs and community guards ensuring young people are helped to make positive life choices. The programme operates by a referral system.

Garda Youth Diversion Projects are part supported by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.