Prisons Dept: ‘Drug cluster’ rehab programme under 12MP aims to reduce overcrowding

Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons (Security and Correctional) of the Malaysian Prisons Department Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Razak (3rd left) speaks to inmates at the Community Therapeutic Centre, Jelebu Drug Rehabilitation Institution in Negri Sembilan, November 16, 2021. — Bernama pic
Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons (Security and Correctional) of the Malaysian Prisons Department Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Razak (3rd left) speaks to inmates at the Community Therapeutic Centre, Jelebu Drug Rehabilitation Institution in Negri Sembilan, November 16, 2021. — Bernama pic

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JELEBU, Nov 16 — The Prisons Department will build 19 drug clusters, a special placement in prison that uses a drug rehabilitation programme management model, to resolve the issue of overcrowding in prisons in the country.

Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons (Security and Correctional) of the Malaysian Prisons Department, Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Razak said starting with the pilot project, two special placements will be built in Sungai Buloh Prison with a capacity of 1,000 inmates and another in Kajang Prison with a capacity of 500 inmates with drug-related cases.

The government has approved the construction of this drug cluster in the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12). Under the project, the prison authorities will place all prisoners with drug offences that need to undergo intensive rehabilitation, in the drug cluster.

“Drug offences in prisons involve 60 per cent of all prisoners in the country and that is a major factor for overcrowding in prisons. The construction of these drug clusters can also increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation among drug-related prisoners,” he told reporters after officiating at the Community Therapeutic Centre at the Jelebu Drug Rehabilitation Institution (IPD) here today.

Abdul Aziz said the prisoners would undergo the drug rehabilitation programme at the special placement throughout his time in jail as sentenced by the court.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz said the Community Therapy Centre was an evidence-based modality proposed in the guidelines for the implementation of the International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

He said 20 prisons had implemented the modality since it was first introduced at the Kajang Prison Drug Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre in 1992.

“The Prisons Department had set four main goals for the establishment of the Community Therapy Centre, among which is to implement an intensive and focused drug rehabilitation programme to achieve a low recidivism rate among drug offenders.

“It is also to achieve the objective of the National Drug Policy to reduce the rate of drug addicts in the country, and to make the Jelebu IPD a training centre for the implementation of a comprehensive drug rehabilitation programme at the national and international levels,” he said. — Bernama

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