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Kabarole District Neglects Juvenile Rehabilitation Programmes

According to the Childrens Act, local governments are mandated to provide juvenile offenders with the basic needs, contribute towards their reform, education, rehabilitation and prepare them for reintegration back into their families and communities after serving their sentences.

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Kabarole district Community Development Department is on spot for failing to offer rehabilitation programmes for juvenile offenders.

According to the Children's Act, local governments are mandated to provide juvenile offenders with the basic needs, contribute towards their reform, education, rehabilitation and prepare them for reintegration back into their families and communities after serving their sentences.

Some of the rehabilitation programmes include counseling and practical skills training. However, such programmes are not provided by the district and as a result, many child offenders return to crime as soon as they are discharged from the Juvenile detention centers.

Kabarole Probation Officer Shamillah Kakunguru says the district had planned to strengthen the existing rehabilitation and delinquency prevention programs that could substantially reduce future criminality, but it lacks adequate funds. 

She admits that the juveniles who have served their sentence pose a serious threat to the communities because they can easily return to crime. Kakunguru adds that there is need for the juveniles to engage in activities that would keep their minds and brains occupied.

However Kenneth Baguma, the in-charge of Karago Juvenile Centre says the centre lacks counselors and is understaffed. Baguma explains that eight children who had initially stayed at the facility for 10 months but were taken back on charges of arson. 

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Suzan Mugisa, a warden at Fort Portal Remand Home says that the home has insufficient rehabilitation programmes. Mugisa says that the district should prioritize rehabilitation programmes because they are good for the offenders and help control cases of repeat offenders and make them self-sustainable individuals in future.

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Kenneth Aguma, an officer attached to the Child and Family Protection Unit at Fort Portal police station says that it has become increasingly difficult to fight Juvenile offenses because there are no rehabilitation programmes. He explains that the unit receives more than 10 juveniles each week who have committed crimes more than once.

According to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development counseling is a major method that should be used by district probation departments, rehabilitation and remand homes on all juveniles until the time of resettling them in their families

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