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Alcoholic convicts to receive VR treatment

Virtual reality technology will likely be applied to treatment for some alcohol-addicted offenders on probation, according to government officials Sunday.

The Ministry of Justice announced that it plans to adopt VR technology for the treatment of offenders who committed crimes under the influence of alcohol, from upcoming January. 

A demonstration of VR treatment for alcoholic convicts at Seoul Probation Office Saturday (The Ministry of Justice)
A demonstration of VR treatment for alcoholic convicts at Seoul Probation Office Saturday (The Ministry of Justice)

According to the ministry, there are more than 20,000 alcohol addicts on probation in Korea. Around 5,000, who are classified as high-risk offenders, will go through the program pre-emptively.

The program, consisting of 11 classes, include lectures such as virtual driving under the influence, practicing refusal to alcohol and coping with a state of crisis.

Some 10 probation offices will adopt the new treatment program, including the offices in Seoul, Incheon and Busan.

An official from the ministry said, “By using immersive content, an advantage of VR, we can prevent the offenders from becoming serious criminals, ensuring the safety of the people.”

Once the VR treatment is proved effective, the ministry hopes to enlarge the program to treating drug addiction.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@herldcorp.com)
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