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July 27, 2017

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Protests halt sex-offender treatment facility

The China Post news staff--The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) yesterday decided to suspend the ongoing construction of a sex-offender treatment facility in Taichung after the city government and nearby residents voiced protest over the project that is being built near a university.

The suspension decision was made as a "gesture of good will," the MOJ said, in response to strong protests by the Taichung City Government as well as students and people living in a nearby neighborhood who were afraid that the facility could lead security issues.

To better communicate with local communities in regaining their trust, the MOJ and the Taichung Prison, which is responsible for supervision of the project, are expected to hold a briefing today at a community center near the project site.

The facility is meant to house convicted sex offenders who are likely to commit sex-related crimes again after being released from prison. The new facility will provide compulsory treatment to offenders before they return to society, according to the MOJ.

Patients at the new facility will be guarded by police personnel and will not be allowed to come or go freely, the ministry said.

The ongoing construction of the facility is registered under the Pei Teh Hospital of the Taichung Prison (台中監獄培德醫院). The new facility is expected to provide 45 additional beds for such patients.

In response, the Taichung government yesterday expressed satisfaction over the MOJ's suspension decision, saying that the city authorities will give a nod to the project once the MOJ and Taichung Prison has reached an agreement with local residents.

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