Rehabilitative Youth Prison to Open in Viacha

The Bolivian government announced plans to open the country’s first juvenile prison compound in Calauta, Viacha. The compound will house youths ages 16 to 21 with the aim of reintegrating them into their communities. The “model prison” will have the capacity to accommodate almost 300 youths according to Vice-minister of the Regimen Prison, Wilson Soria.

Each of the cells is outfitted with a personal bathroom and can house three inmates. The rest of the facility includes study areas, workshops and classrooms. The center’s workshops will include a bakery, an artist’s shop, and textile studio, chosen to respond to the consumer demand.  In contrast to most prisons, police guards will be stationed only outside of the structure while only instructors will be allowed inside.

The compound will begin serving 30 youth with a professional staff of 17 including psychologists, technicians and others who will regularly evaluate the inmates and refer them as necessary.  “The new line of jail psychology holds that those youth that commit crimes ought to be admitted to these centers with the goal of finding psychosocial mechanisms that allow them to be reincorporated into public life,” explained Soria.

Source: Bolivia Weekly

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