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National Assembly

Dove Drug Reduction Programme Centre to be transformed into juvenile detention centre | 23 July 2020

The former Youth Residential Training Centre at Amitié, Praslin which in 2015 was transformed into the Dove Drug Reduction Programme Centre run by the Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation, will soon go back to providing the services of a juvenile detention centre for which purpose it was built.

Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon gave the information in the National Assembly on Tuesday when answering a question posed by the MNA for Grand Anse Praslin Wavel Woodcock who wanted to know why the Agency for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation (Apdar) is moving out of the facility.

Mrs Mondon explained that the Dove Drug Reduction Programme Centre is not being relocated but rather closing down the services being offered at the centre – residential rehabilitation treatment for drug users.

Designated Minister Mondon noted that other than offering residential programmes, the centre was also being served to coordinate the operation programme of methadone distribution in the Praslin community, offer psycho-social services and provide a place to conduct laboratory tests as well as for doctors to review clients when they visit Praslin.

It should be recalled that the Dove centre was built as a juvenile centre.

Designated Minister Mondon said it was in November last year that the judiciary submitted a recommendation to government requesting for a youth detention centre to keep young people who commit offences and are brought before the juvenile court.

Following the request, a visit was conducted in February this year by officers from Apdar together with those from the internal affairs department.

“It was then recommended to the Cabinet of Ministers that the centre becomes a juvenile detention facility,” Minister Mondon explained.

She said the recommendation was followed by the handover of the centre to the prison authorities on July 1 this year, forcing Apdar to find an alternative location for its operations on Praslin.

“It was necessary for Apdar to find a new place with enough space to accommodate both its services and its staff as well as rooms for doctors’ review consultations, psycho-social counseling as well as conduct laboratory tests,” Mrs Mondon explained.

She pointed out to Assembly members that Apdar did its own search for a new place before settling for two houses belonging to Andre Ciseau with whom it has signed a two-year contract worth R50,000 monthly.

The larger house will be used for its services with space for its staff while the smaller house will cater for doctor consultations.

“This means that Apdar will now make savings of between R35,000 and R40,000 per month on its operation costs as it will no longer be providing food and other essential necessities required for residential programmes,” Designated Minister Mondon highlighted.

She further added that as the centre will now be used for the purpose of which it was originally built, there will not be any need for any renovations, adjustments except if in future there is a need to extend the facility to accommodate new programmes for the young people who will be detained there.

But for his part, Mr Woodcock argued that when the centre opened its doors in a grandiose ceremony in 2015 under the slogan ‘A new beginning’ symbolising hope and peace and this after the government had spent R8 million to renovate the old Youth Residential Treatment Centre (YRTC) at Amitié to put programmes together and recruit specialists, Apdar now has to move its services in two small houses.

He deemed the new location as not conducive and lack space for Apdar to carry out its different rehabilitation and psycho-social programmes as it should.

Designated Minister Mondon reiterated that Apdar is not spending any money to relocate in the new premises and all the necessary partitioning will be done by the owner.

There were other related questions namely if other houses were considered and why this particular owner among others.

 

Marie-Anne Lepathy

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