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31.03.2004 Regional News

Volta Regional Rehabilitation Centre to be reactivated

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Ho, Mar. 31, GNA - The Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment (MMDE) is to reactivate the Volta Regional Rehabilitation Centre to serve as remand homes for juvenile delinquents in the region. He said with the nearest rehabilitation centre in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, such juvenile delinquents in the Volta Region now served their remands with suspected adult criminals.

Mr Larry Bissaba, Volta Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare announced this on Monday, during the two-day review workshop of District Social Welfare Officers in the Volta Region in Ho. He was reacting to complaints of Mr David Amedior, a Ho District Magistrate, during an open forum that, the absence of such a rehabilitation centre was making the handling of juveniles by the courts difficult. Mr Bissaba said the authorities had had to convert what was meant to be a rehabilitation centre into a vocational school upon allegations that Police were conniving with juvenile offenders to inflate their ages so as to avoid being sent to what in the past was know as Borstal Institutes. He said as a result the centre was always empty and was therefore converted into a vocational school.

Mr Amedior said keeping juvenile delinquents in confinement at such rehabilitation centres for observation helped in many ways to reform them. He said a few of such miscreants had been known to have returned from observation as changed persons. Other issues raised included the spiralling number of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the region, which the Regional Social Welfare Office put at 115.

Mr William Krakani, Principal Development Officer of the Department of Social Welfare slammed district assemblies for not satisfying themselves adequately about the genuineness of such organisations before registering them. He said the Department of Social Welfare had the duty to register all NGOs and ensure that they did only what they were registered to do and also provided quarterly reports on their activities.

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