Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri has denied that there are plans to transfer youths who are currently imprisoned at the Centre of Residential Restorative Services at Imtaħleb, to Corradino Correctional Facility in Paola.
Sources speaking to this newsroom have explained that there are plans to transfer youths at the juvenile detention centre to CCF where adult inmates are held.
Sources have explained that the youths under the age of 21 would be placed on the top floor in the female’s division which is accessed through the same entrance at the adults. This is in accordance to law. Another option would be having youths pass through single rooms areas to get to their division however this option is less favourable.
The Female Division B has been closed off by CCF director Alexander Dalli, sources have told this newsroom. This was done in preparation for the planned transfer. The same sources explained that it has been decided that only youths under 18 years of age are placed in this division while those older will be placed with adult inmates in different divisions. This would mean that the youth inmates would have access to less facilities.
Legal experts explained that the law requires that youth inmates are kept separate from adult prisoners. The facility in which they are detained should take into consideration their needs at their age and should be safeguarded against bad influence.
Overcrowding in prison
Sources have pointed out that at present Female Division A is overcrowded. A pregnant woman is expected to join this division in the near future. Inmates who have just gave birth were usually placed in the Female Division B where they would be allocated a room for themselves.
The lack of space and overcrowding at the correctional facility has been highlighted by Prime Minister Robert Abela when he addressed Partit Laburista supporters during the weekly Sunday interview held on the party’s media.
“Unless there is an exceptional reason…”
Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri appeared uncomfortable when asked whether youth inmates will be transferred to Corradino Correctional Facility. He stressed that the Centre of Residential Restorative Services will remain at Imtaħleb. He added that unless exceptional circumstances arise there are no plans to transfer youths at Imtaħleb to Paola.
The Centre of Residential Restorative Services was inaugurated back in 2017, to ensure that young offenders are kept separate from the adult prison population at Corradino Correctional Facility or inmates at Mount Carmel Hospital.