The Department of Home Affairs is seeking planning permission to convert Grianagh Court into a rehabilitation and resettlement centre.
An application has been submitted to change the use of the premises, which currently serves as the in-patient admission unit for the Isle of Man mental health service.
The building is expected to become available in 2016-17, as the Department of Health is progressing a scheme to construct a new adult acute mental health facility.
The proposed rehabilitation and resettlement centre is a key element of the Department of Home Affairs’ focus on maintaining community safety and protecting the vulnerable.
It is needed for the Department to fulfil its statutory responsibility to provide services in relation to probation, bail and after care of offenders within the criminal justice system.
The new centre would replace David Gray House, which is owned by the Salvation Army and run by the charity in partnership with the Prison and Probation Service.
The Department of Home Affairs provides annual funding towards the operating costs, but the mid-terrace building is in need of extensive repairs and does not meet recognised standards for such facilities.
The Department has been assessing a number of options to provide a replacement and the potential re-use of an existing Government-owned building is considered the most cost-effective solution.
Grianagh Court would require no external changes and minimal internal alteration to convert into a rehabilitation and resettlement centre. It is bigger than David Gray House and would provide scope to offer improved training and rehabilitation facilities to more clients. It would also maximise the effectiveness of multi-agency working involving Health, Social Care and Education.
Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘Given its current use, Grianagh Court would make a very suitable rehabilitation and resettlement centre. A larger and more bespoke facility would support a fully integrated offender management system to better address offending behaviour and enhance public safety. This also supports the core objectives of our flagship Criminal Justice Strategy, which was unanimously accepted by Tynwald in December 2012.’