‘Diversion’ for kids held for minor crime

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KUALA LUMPUR — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will carry out a pilot project, known as “Diversion”, for children charged with minor crime next year, said its minister and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said the “Diversion” system would keep children involved in minor crime out of the existing justice system.

“The children will not be detained. (Instead) they will go through an intervention programme that is specially prepared for them based on their offence and background,” she said during a visit to Sekolah Tunas Bakti in Sungai Besi here yesterday.

Dr Wan Azizah said the intervention module would be introduced as an alternative rehabilitation method and would encompass counselling sessions, community service, payment of damages or repairs.

However, the proposal would be submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for discussion before its implementation.

She said the adverse psychological effects facing children who went through the legal process because of the minor offences they committed were worse than the offence itself.

Met after the event, Dr Wan Azizah also said two female students who escaped from a moral rehabilitation centre at Asrama Akhlak (Perempuan) Jitra in Kubang Pasu on Wednesday had been found.

She said the students were believed to have escaped because they were not able to adapt to the conditions at the centre.

“We want to rehabilitate them, but they don’t understand. They felt like being confined. This is the perception that we need to change,” she said.

On Wednesday, Kubang district police chief Supt Mohd Ismail Ibrahim said the seven inmates escaped at about 1am and a social welfare assistant was informed about it by other inmates about 20 minutes later.

The inmates had escaped through the hostel toilet via the ceiling before climbing on to the roof. ― Bernama