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The manager of the Het Keerpunt Youth Center in the Netherlands, Mr. Chris van de Pitte, visited the Juvenile Detention Houses of Kaohsiung Drug Abuser Treatment Center and Ming Yang High School and appreciated the system of juvenile correction and intervention in Taiwan.

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  • Last updated:2019-07-24
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On January 28, 2019, the Manager of the Het Keerpunt Youth Center in the Netherlands, Mr. Chris van de Pitte, the Deputy Representative of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office, Mr. Andre Verkade and the Senior Specialist, Kuo Li-Hui visited the Kaohsiung Juvenile Detention House and Ming Yang High School, accompanied by the Specialist Chen Yu-Heng and the Counselor in Taoyuan Women's Prison Chan Hui-Ya. Agency of Corrections (AOC) is committed to international communication and looks forward to improving all of our intervention policies through the correctional experience of other advanced countries. In 2018, the former deputy director of AOC, Huang Jian-Yu (now the Warden of Yilan Prison), and other two people took an investigation trip in the Netherlands. At that time the delegation was received by the manager of the Het Keerpunt Youth Center, Mr. Chris van de Pitte, who was deeply interested in the juvenile correction policy during the communication, so he decided to apply to visit Taiwan this time. Manager Mr. Chris van de Pitte said that there are different laws and systems applied to Dutch teenagers and adults, and not all European countries have established special laws for juvenile offenders. For example, in Belgium, a country next to the Netherlands, juveniles and adults are applied to the same penalties. Therefore, the juvenile's sentence could be as long as 30 years, so he appreciated that we have especially established the Juvenile Accident Act to leave the teenagers a lighter sentence. There are currently seven juvenile correctional facilities in the Netherlands, which have overall legal capacity of about 700 juveniles. But in recent years, , due to the changes in criminal policies which tried to prevent the juveniles from entering the criminal justice system too young, the current Dutch juvenile inmate has been overall declining to about 300 juvenile inmates. If we take the Het Keerpunt Youth Center as an example that it has a legal capacity of about 60 and now only accommodates 36 inmates. When visiting Ming Yang High School, Mr. Chris van de Pitte learned from the presentation that the most of juvenile offenders in Taiwan are drug abusers no matter in the juvenile or the adult correctional facilities. This has indicated that the problem of abusing drugs is very rampant in Taiwan, but in the Netherlands the soft drug has already become legal, so they will deal with the drug problems with treatment and intensive control; therefore, he also emphasized the importance of treating the drug offenders. During the visit, he has affirmed not only that the national correction houses for the juvenile inmates are as beautiful and well-equipped as the campus, but also the diverse curriculum and the connection with external resources in order to improve the quality of juvenile correction and intervention, such as Ming Yang High School and Quanda Culture and Education Foundation worked together to exhibit the reproductions of the famous painter of the Netherlands, Van Gogh, to enhance the aesthetic education of the juvenile. One of the juvenile inmates specially introduced two paintings to the visiting guests, whose professional and confidence have deeply touched the foreign guests. Mr. Chris van de Pitte also encouraged our agency to continue to cultivate juvenile correctional education and looked forward to more opportunities of communication between the Netherlands and Taiwan in the future.

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