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At the North of the Country - "A Comprehensive Strategy"

We spent four days in the north of the country. Part of the time spent getting to know the area and we visit holy places and part of the time spent continuing the learning experience.

We visited Hermon Prison. Touring around and meeting the inmates was the kind of experience that leaves you speechless. During the tour we experienced the different activities the inmates take part in and even met a couple of them. They work, study… a whole daily schedule that makes them feel different and creates the difference between a normal prison and this one.


We met Jananlel, a 22 years old from Jerusalem who told us how he finally understands that his problems arose from within him and although he knows that outside the prison things will be difficult, he believes this prison is helping him to build a more positive future. We also met another inmate who is not taking part in the addiction treatment and teaches in the educational center. He explained how his experience is very challenging but is worth it as it will help him once he leaves prison. At the end of the tour, we met Eran who is forty years old, has two daughters and is fighting with his addiction. He said that being true to yourself and with what surrounds you is not easy and it takes a lot of strength. After being in prison several times, he believes he is finally changing as a result of the treatment he is receiving at the prison.

 

In the afternoon we visited Malkishua, a Drug Rehabilitation Center that takes your breath away. It is located at the summit of Gilboa Mountain. The Center offers several types of rehabilitation programs including programs for youth, adults, and special girls’ program. The addicts live as a community and they have a system of self management. We met the addict that was in charge and he explained how things worked and their relationship with the staff.

 

During the second day, several professional visits took with the Arab sector: a “closed dorms” facility for youth up to age 18, and, a detoxification center located in the Arab village of Tamra.

 

These two visits were very interesting, in particular as a result of the nature of this sector and its relationship with the state. In addition we had a lecture with Dr. Wallid Hadad, the supervisor to the Arab sector, on the 'Treatment of drug addicts and cultural sensitivity.'

 

The “closed dorms” facility for youth was an example of how the system is adapted for the youth and the relationship that the legal system has with these facilities which aim to provide the best possible development process for the youth who are treated at the facility. The director of the facility referred to a work model which includes four wheels: Physical, Emotional, Environmental and Future. Each has different objectives.

 

The detoxification center we visited was a great example of tolerance and coexistence. At this center people from different faiths and cultural backgrounds live together. This is not something that can be taken for granted in our country and our participants acknowledged the importance of this cohabitation for the purpose of detoxification.


This was only part of our week and it was very intense. Thank you to all the people who enabled us to visit their facilities.