Pokok Sena, Kedah
Sentosa, Kuala Lumpur
Paya Terubong, Pinang
Bukit Baru, Melaka
Sungai, Kuala Lumpur
Sungai Lereh, Melaka
Probation infrastructure (2011)
The Probation Hostels (PH) and Approved Schools (AS) around the country fall under the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development. The three Henry Gurney Schools (HGS) are operated by the Prisons Department.
Currently there are 10 Probation Hostels (two for girls and eight for boys) which contain relatively low numbers of occupants (save in Kedah) and with a total occupancy in 2011 of 372 operate within the overall capacity of 650.
The nine Approved Schools (six for boys and three for girls) had a total of 1122 and within a capacity of 1,450. However the Approved School in Pahang and KL were operating over capacity.
In addition, the Prisons Department operates three Henry Gurney Schools with a total population of 685. Prisons also operate six Juvenile Rehabilitation Centres which are located within adult prisons (though the occupants are kept separate) save for Sungai Petani (visited by the team) which is exclusively for young persons under 21.
The Child Act requires the appointment of a Board of Visitors for each Approved School (though not for probation hostels). Facilities under the prisons are inspected as described in slide 19.
Probation Hostels (PH)
The Probation Hostels are for children on remand, or under a Court order of detention for 12 months because they have committed a crime or are “beyond control”. Probation orders are generally low in number and the majority of children are generally on remand.
Between 2003 and 2007 occupancy averaged 350 in Probation Hostels, it then dropped in 2008 to 183 and has risen again to 372 in 2011. Figures for the percentage of girls were not available.
Approved Schools (AS)
The Approved Schools are for child offenders, children who are beyond control and children on remand. They are generally large-scale facilities with a capacity of between 100 to 200 children. Since 2003, the Approved Schools have consistently accommodated over 1,000 young persons. Approximately 30% of the population is made up of girls.
Both Probation Hostels and Approved Schools have relatively low levels of security and children are generally free to wander the grounds during the day.
Henry Gurney Schools
The three Henry Gurney Schools (one for both boys and girls in Melaka, one for girls in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and one for boys in Keningau, Sabah) are generally large, with capacity for approximately 300 each. They are for children and youth offenders between the ages of 14 and 21, as well as children on remand. They also receive child offenders or beyond control children on transfer from an Approved School/Probation Hostel if the child repeatedly runs away, or exhibits serious behaviour problems. Girls make up around 7% of the population. The majority of the population is aged 16-18 (76%).
The Henry Gurney Schools are run by the Prisons Department and operate with a much
stricter security regime than the Approved Schools or Probation Hostels. Henry Gurney Schools were designed on the British Borstal model, and as with the Approved Schools and Probation Hostels, the approach to rehabilitation is grounded in discipline, a strict daily regime, religious instruction, and vocational training.
The Approved Schools, Probation Hostels and Henry Gurney Schools have a mix of professionals on staff, including welfare officers, teachers, vocational instructors, and security personnel. While all staff members undergo a basic induction training programme, none appear to have received specialised training on managing children in conflict with the law.
Prisons personnel are transferred regularly between adult and juvenile facilities and do not have opportunities for training or specialisation in working with young prisoners. This is a dynamic field in constant development as governments increasingly realize that investment early on creates substantial savings (in crime reduction and the impact of crime on the economy) later on.
Currently, the Malaysian Prisons Department includes one fully separate Juvenile Correctional Centre in Sungai Petani, as well as five Juvenile Correctional Centres co-located with adult prisons. Co-located facilities are fully separate from adult facilities, with their own programmes for young prisoners. Girls are detained in separate prisons with women. Between 2004 and 2009, 18% of young person in JCCs were girls.
Under prisons, staff does not receive specialized training for the management and care of young persons.
Reintegration post release
The Child Act requires that children who are sent to an AS must be placed under the supervision of a probation officer or some other person appointed by the Child Welfare Committee for a period of one year after their release. However, there are no specific provisions regarding reintegration support for children released from Probation Hostels or from a facility operated by the Prison’s Department.
After release, young persons are placed under the supervision of a probation officer for a 12 month period and are required to report on a monthly basis. As with sentenced adult offenders, however, there appears to be no individualized treatment or reintegration plan and the mandate of probation officers does not extend to children in prisons.