Experts call for review of programmes in rehabilitation centres for juvenile offenders

Several factors lead young people to return to juvenile rehabilitation centres after leaving them, Moez Cherif, president of the Tunisian Association for the Defence of Children's Rights, said on Sunday. In a statement to TAP, Chérif said that the recidivism rate for minors was over 30%. "These minors feel that the period of re-education in the centre does not prepare them for their release and social reintegration," he said. According to Chérif, this situation calls for a review of the re-education programmes within the centres, in addition to the need to guarantee follow-up and support after release. According to the same source, the rehabilitation centres for juvenile offenders are overcrowded and there is a shortage of staff, especially psychologists, which does not guarantee good psychological care for minors. Chérif also called for minors to be given suspended sentences instead of prison sentences. For his part, Marouane Riahi, a clinical psychologist, stressed in a statement to TAP the importance of vocational training in the centres to ensure that minors are properly reintegrated into society when they leave. There are 5 rehabilitation centres for juvenile offenders in Tunisia (El Mourouj, El Meghira, Mejez El Bab, Sidi El Hani and Souk Lahad). Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

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