Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jul 2016
Source: Independent (Malta)
Copyright: 2016, Standard Publications Ltd


PN Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that government's war on 
drugs in the Corradino Correctional Facility has failed.

He was speaking in Parliament, and reminded people of government's 
pledge to reform the prison, and end drug abuse there. In this, he 
said, government has failed. "In November 2013, government hired an 
ex-US soldier to bring discipline to the prison. Former Home Affairs 
Minister Manuel Mallia had said he was starting a war to end drugs in prison.

"There are those who describe prison as the place where drugs can be 
found with ease. I'm not saying this to alarm, but to recognise that 
there is a problem. There are people worried as their family members 
are in more peril in prison, than when they were out."

He mentioned a number of drug finds in the prisons over 2015, and 
said that 15 cases of drug finds in prison were noted between January 
and June 2016.

Parliament was discussing a bill amending the Probation Act, which 
would allow the Director responsible for probation and parole the 
ability to order a person under such orders to be tested for substance abuse.

Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said that when visiting this 
department, the workers are motivated to help people overcome their 
difficulties. He said there are around 60 people working within this 
department. "When one sees the amount of probation orders sent by the 
courts, I take it as proof of the success of this department.

"Our courts believe probation can be part of the solution, which 
helps persons reform themselves. Presently there are around 1,000 
cases of probation being handled by this department, and we expect 
this rate to rise each year."

Turning to the Parole unit, it handles those who were in prison but 
were allowed to apply for parole. He said that in 2015, this unit saw 
three parolees who broke their parole regulations.

"We also cannot forget the victims," he said. "There is a unit within 
this department that works with the victims, when a prisoner applies 
for parole."

He expressed his gratitude for the work done by this department.
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