Fujairah facility releases 45 juvenile delinquents after treatment

The young offenders participated in a rehabilitation programme at the Youth Men Social Foster Home.
Social supervisor Khalifa Al Madhani watches as young men use the recreation room at the Young Men Social Foster Home in Fujairah. Sarah Dea / The National
Social supervisor Khalifa Al Madhani watches as young men use the recreation room at the Young Men Social Foster Home in Fujairah. Sarah Dea / The National

FUJAIRAH // Forty-five young Emirati offenders have been released back into the community this year with a new lease on life after undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation programme at the Young Men Social Foster Home.

Most of the young offenders were accused of robbery, drug abuse and sexual assault and were sentenced by the court to the supervised detention centre, either to await a court hearing or to undergo a long-term care programme. Eight others remain in custody.

“I feel ashamed of what I did,” said S A, who was charged with same-sex sexual assault. “Being away from God and having bad friendships had affected my life and behaviour. I learned a great lesson after what I have gone through and would never ever hurt anybody anymore again. Feeling guilty is the first step to recovery, that’s what they taught us here.”

The 16-year-old was in the programme for nine months.

“I have learnt so many things and obtained new skills that will help me deal with my future,” he said.

“I just finished my ninth-grade exams and am looking forward to being 18 to sign up for the military service to serve my country and fulfil my dreams.”

G S, 16, was also charged with same-sex sexual assault.

“I would give anything to go back in time and change what I have done. I’m not proud of what I did and I will do everything I can to prevent this shameless act from haunting me for the rest of my life,” he said.

“The religious lectures helped me a lot during the past 10 months. Having faith in God made me stronger and more wary. They let us talk to our parents twice a week and they can visit us, too. There are so many things to do here, but nothing can be compared to freedom.”

M M, 17, was charged with attempted murder. He insisted, however, that he was not guilty, despite the court findings.

“I didn’t do it. I didn’t try to kill anyone. I was just trying to help and end a fight.”

M M said he was involved in a fight at a wedding ceremony and was accused of stabbing someone.

“This is my second month and I can’t wait to get out of here, to spend more time with my family and do the things I like most, such as walking along the beach and playing volleyball.”

Fatima Al Shehhi, a psychology specialist in the programme, said: “M M is new here. Most of them at first deny their crimes, but in time, and with our help, they begin to develop a greater awareness and start to realise what they have committed and how it has affected their community and themselves.

“We provide them with a comprehensive personalised programme designed according to their needs, in addition to providing support programmes for their families.”

Managing director Khameis Al Khadeim said his staff tried to provide the best care for the youths.

“We take great pride in our facility and work hard at keeping it secured and running at its best while providing a safe environment for juveniles,” he said.

“Our facility is equipped with 48 secured bedrooms in four detention units, with four classrooms for vocational training and religious lectures, indoor and outdoor recreation areas, dining room, computer lab and administrative office area.”

rhaza@thenational.ae

Published: December 23, 2014 04:00 AM

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