A WARNING that ex-offenders attempting to turn their lives around would end up either dead or back in prison following the closure of a state-funded halfway way house has come tragically true.
Last November, Kazelain house in Sligo, a boarding house for men funded by the Department of Justice, was closed down after an independent review found it was not value for money.
This week one of its former residents was found dead in his Sligo flat, while two more of the men are back in prison.
Alan Greham, 29, from Crossmolina Co Mayo, had been living in Kazelain following a prison term for minor offences.
Since the house closed, Mr Greham had been living without the support and structures which the home provided.
Paul Byrne, a former counsellor at Kazelain said Mr Greham had just last week called him looking for a place on a treatment programme.
Mr Byrne, who last November warned the men would fall back into crime and addiction if the centre closed, said he was sad his predictions had come true.
“I hate to be able to stand over my word, but if Kazelain had not closed Alan would be alive today.”
Mr Byrne said after the house closed, the men were ‘left in the wilderness’.
“They had urine and drug tests at Kazelain, counselling and the support of each other, and the people who ran the house. After it closed, the lads only had basic contact with the probation service. There is very limited after care service.”Mr Byrne said while some of the men were managing to stay sober, two were back behind bars.
One of the men, 22-year-old Wesley Fallon, is now serving a two year sentence.
“His life took a downward spiral after Kazelain closed. I knew there would be a fall-out from its closure but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly.”
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