Cater rehabilitation programmes to individual circumstances

National 2 minutes, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE rehabilitation methods practised at Pusat Al-Islah for drug addicts and offenders were questioned by a legislative council member during yesterday’s proceedings at the 12th session of the Legislative Council.

Yang Berhormat Hj Ramli Hj Lahit raised concerns regarding the effectiveness of the rehabilitation programme being carried out there as it was seemingly not tailored to the individual circumstances of each resident.

“To the best of my knowledge, the treatment given at the rehabilitation centre does not take into account or distinguish between the young and the old, first-time offenders or serial offenders,” said the penghulu of Mukim Telisai.

It was previously reported that the rehabilitation centre, located in the Tutong district, has seen 30 per cent of their residents relapse since 2010.

YB Hj Ramli, who has previously served as a member on Pusat Al-Islah’s advisory committee, said that the rehabilitation’s effort to reintegrate its older residents and serial offenders into society should not focus solely on the resident’s employability after leaving the rehabilitation centre.

“Of course the training being carried out there such as vocational skills training, continuing ‘O’ level education, Class 6 (bus) driving licence and mechanic training are all good programmes to help the residents get back on their feet,” he said.

“However, perhaps due to the age factor where an older resident may find that his chances of finding employment are slim, specialised programmes centering on the spirituality and physical independence of his rehabilitation would be more appropriate to help him reintegrate into society,” he said.

YB Hj Ramli also called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to work with the centre to help successfully carry out the mooted specialised programmes.

“As was said during His Majesty’s titah last year, the government cannot be depended upon solely for every matter so to realise these specialised programmes, the cooperation of the NGOs are needed to help stem the inflow of repeat offenders into the drug rehabilitation centre,” he said.

“Therefore, I suggest that the Prime Minister’s Office, through the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), hold discussions with appropriate NGOs for their cooperation to make this happen,” he said.

In his reply to the concerns raised, the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar however said that the programmes carried out at the rehabilitation centre were not entirely uniform in nature.

“Pusat Al-Islah uses the community therapeutic approach as the basis of treatment and rehabilitation programmes in the centre so although all residents undergo the same rehabilitation programme, the programme’s core and emphasis are based on (the resident’s) age group and individual requirements,” he said.

“In addition, NCB officials have established partnerships with the private sector in its treatment and rehabilitation programme through the Temporary Release Scheme which gives residents an opportunity for work placements,” he said. The minister also said that it is already in NCB’s plan to expand these partnerships with more local companies and NGOs in the future.

The Brunei Times