THE rehabilitation of the old Kitwe prison for juvenile correctional services has cheered the Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) Copperbelt office.
ZCS commanding officer Wilson Mbewe said it was important the office of the district commissioner and the mayor had come on board to rehabilitate the infrastructure which was closed in 1977.
Mr Mbewe said the prison, located in Yobe police camp, was opened in 1958 by the British colonial masters and was later adopted by the Prisons Fellowship of Zambia who used it as a training facility for ex-prisoners before they were integrated into society.
He said after the Prisons Fellowship of Zambia stopped using it the building was abandoned for some time.
He said after the ZCS discovered the building, it approached the office of Kitwe district commissioner Chanda Kabwe and proposed that the facility be turned into a juvenile prison and the DC agreed with the idea.
Mr Mbewe said once the prison was rehabilitated into a juvenile facility it would help to de-congest Kamfinsa correctional facility’s juvenile section.
He said juvenile offenders at Kamfinsa were confined together with adult offenders but in different blocks.
Mr Mbewe said once the facility was in full operation it would help juvenile offenders to learn life survival skills that would enable them to become responsible adults.
The ZCS Copperbelt commanding officer said juvenile offenders serving various prison sentences were important stakeholders.
And Mr Kabwe said his office would engage business houses in the district for the facility to be rehabilitated.