Published by The New Times on April 07, 2019
Youths at the Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre last month. Some delinquents go through this rehabilitation center. Emmanuel Kwizera.
A new electronic system being championed by the National Rehabilitation Service (NRS) is expected to contribute to the effective reintegration process of delinquents through tracking and monitoring their whereabouts and behaviours.
Aimé Bosenibamwe, Director General of National Rehabilitation Service (NRS), told Sunday Times that the system will keep comprehensive records and identification of all the people with undesirable behaviour including their names, names of their parents, place of residence, photo, fingerprint, and National ID number.
Bosenibamwe referred to the technology last week while explaining the management of rehabilitation and transit centres in Rwanda to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security.
Named “delinquency tracking software,” the system, will be built next year, he said.
“By establishing that someone has been detained at transit centres on multiple occasions, the system will help identify causes that lead to the relapse, and devise advanced strategies to deal with the problem,” Bosenibamwe said.
A number of delinquent youths (aged between 18 and 35) have been rehabilitated and released from centres which were taking care of them before being reintegrated into communities.
As of now, some 18,564 delinquents have been rehabilitated since 2010 when the rehabilitation programme was reinforced, and 1183 street children reunified with their families, statistics from NRS reveal.
However, Bosenibamwe observed that it is difficult to know whether they have been fully restored to normal life, or they have returned to illegal acts because there was no reliable system to monitor that.
A person might have been detained in Nyagatare District for delinquency, went to a transit centre or was transferred to a rehabilitation centre for therapy, and that his/her photo and fingerprint were put in the system. Then, he/she is later detained in Rusizi again for the same reason.
Such records will be used to prove their previous behaviour, Bosenibamwe explained.
“The management based on evidence will help the country to master the movement and dynamics of the delinquency trend – how it is decreasing or rising,” he said.
“The country therefore makes plans with reliable information on people who have been in rehabilitation centres and have fully got rid of bad behaviour, a given number who have slipped back into bad behaviours, and identify the real underlying causes for the relapse cases so that it comes up with effective measures to respond to the challenges,” he observed.
The system will not only be used by NRS, he indicated, but also other government organs involved in the security of people and property such as Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and Police as well as local government entities, which he said should be linked to it so that they collaborate accordingly.
He disclosed that the development of the software will cost not less than Rwf200 million.
In addition, he said, they work with the National Identification Agency (NIDA) for the production of the identification details.
“That is a technology to track delinquents, especially those who change identification, such as their name. Even the director of a prison will have access to the system because there are people who might be released [from prison], but they subsequently get detained in a transit centre [because of misdeeds],” he said.
A rapid SMS-like system, Bosenibamwe said, will be set up which will allow rapid sharing of information between concerned entities including local government regarding the state of rehabilitated youths.
The information will also be used to feed the system on regular basis.