A facility which can accommodate 40 people at a time is being constructed at a cost of $250,000 to serve as a halfway facility to accommodate juveniles for at most three-months before they are reintegrated into their communities.
The facility, the first of its kind in the country, will serve as a stopover centre to provide a smooth transition for the discharged juveniles into society.
At a homecoming event organised to bring some of the young people together to share their experiences and take inspiration from role models who will engage with them and thus contribute to the reintegration process, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills, called for well-thought-out strategies to respond to youth crime, as well as the reintegration and after-care services of juveniles in the country.
Ghana, he said, was going through a demographic transition where the population of adolescents and young adults in the country was predicted to hit 5.3 million at the end of 2015.
That, he said, could gradually take the country into the dreaded youth bulge phase where the phenomenon of social unrest of all kinds, associated with children and young people, could emerge.
He said reintegration and after services would help address recidivism, restore normal behaviour among juveniles and enhance reform.
Nii Mills said the government recently came up with a comprehensive work plan to complement the National Youth Policy and called for an urgent need for public-private partnership to take advantage of this comprehensive work plan to address delinquency and juvenile crime in the country.
He said the youth of today faced multiple challenges such as access to quality education, unemployment, negative effects of urbanisation, growing incidence of youth involvement in conflicts, inadequate mentoring opportunities, ill parenting and broken homes non-maintenance of children, hunger vulnerability and inadequate opportunities for their participation in decision-making.
The Executive Director of CRRECENT, Mrs Susan Sabaa, in her welcome address said through its project, a reintegration and after-care programme for vulnerable juveniles had been running for the past six years.
The project, she said, had made the progress and achieved great success in a very reliable partnership with Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) and the Department of Social Welfare, adding that the project had over 200 boys who had been enrolled with significant success stories.