Rehabilitation Programes Usher in Hope to Juvenile Offenders

2566 Views Fort Portal, Uganda
A Juvenile offender’s rehabilitation model discovered by US researchers is bringing hope to a number of Juvenile offenders in Fort-Portal Town, Kabarole district.

The balanced and Restorative Justice Model, emphasizes creating meaningful rehabilitative programs that provide each youth, upon leaving the juvenile justice system, with at least one meaningful way to earn a living, researchers say. 

So far Some programs based on  the model have been put in place at Fort-Portal remand home with funding from Kabarole Research and Resource Centre, and the Association of Human Rights (AHURIO).

Two years ago, several projects including carpentry, tailoring and brick making, were set up at Kabarole remand home in as part of the rehabilitation programme for 60 juvenile offenders.

The remand home is a bee hive of activity as juveniles pace about in the workshops designing beds, chairs, and cupboards. Many others are on the tailoring machines and others are also in the gardens being taught some farming techniques.

I7-Year-old Julius Kagoro, is one of the Juvenile offenders serving a six months sentence after he was convicted for robbery. He says he has no regrets for being confined at the remand home, because the carpentry project has kept him busy.

Kagoro, has no plans for returning to school, but says he has gained skills and plans to set up a carpentry workshop, when he completes his sentence.

//Cue in: “… it has helped me…”
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Frank Musinguzi, a former juvenile offender, completed his sentence last year. Musinguzi has started a carpentry business at Kisenyi, a surburb in Fort Portal town.

Rachael Kansiime, the remand home warden says the projects are good because they engage both the body and mind and have helped control cases of repeat offenders.

Kansiime also says that some of the products, especially the clothes are given to the inmates after they have served their sentences as part of the resettlement package. Others are sold to the community to supplement on the income of the home.

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Other rehabilitation activities at the home include prayer, counseling and games.

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About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.