Rejected by society, drug addicts seek refuge in prisons

Updated 11 December 2014
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Rejected by society, drug addicts seek refuge in prisons

An official source at the General Directorate of Prisons in Taif has revealed the increasing number of drug addicts among prisoners in the region, saying that many of them return to prison after a time lapse.
The source said one of the prisoners has returned to prison 15 times. With many of them over 70 years old, they have spent more than half their lives in prison often failing to integrate into society.
The negative attitudes of society and the stigma attached to jails and drug abuse in general often drive these hapless individuals back to the security of prisons. Often, they go back to taking drugs after they have been released from jail because of the harsh and intolerant attitude of people, the source explained. “People are reluctant to forgive them for their drug abuse and totally reject them,” he added.
They see the drug addicts as a menace to society so they ostracize them. “Drug addicts cannot lead normal lives outside prisons while those who are married are often rejected by their families,” the source said.
To address the situation, the General Directorate of Prisons participated in the Gulf Inmate Week launched last Sunday, during which the directorate proposed conducting health and psychological studies for those who return to prison repeatedly and whose ages range between 60 and 70 years.
“The studies will help to identify the recurrent criminal behavior in prisoners,” said the source.
He stressed the fact that society has a responsibility to modify the behavior of an ex-prisoner and turn him into a productive and active citizen. “We must accept him as a participating element in our societies and forgive him for his past mistakes,” said the source.
He added: “One of the factors that will certainly help in modifying the behavior of a prisoner is forcing him to attend classes or continue studies to attain an academic degree while he is in prison. This will help him utilize his time in an effective way. This will be particularly helpful for those who have been sentenced to more than a year behind bars.”


Prince Sultan appoints Majed Al-Sheddi as assistant president of SCTH

Updated 31 min 33 sec ago
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Prince Sultan appoints Majed Al-Sheddi as assistant president of SCTH

  • Al-Sheddi thanked the prince for the appointment, considering it a new way to serve both the country and its citizens
  • Al-Sheddi holds two masters’ degrees in public relations and training and education techniques with a focus on marketing from Marshall University in West Virginia

JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), has appointed Majed Al-Sheddi as the commission’s assistant president on Tuesday.
Al-Sheddi thanked the prince for the appointment, considering it a new way to serve both the country and its citizens based on what he has learned from Prince Sultan: citizens come first and serving them is an honor for every official.
He stated that the new mission will allow him to serve in more comprehensive areas, affirming the national identity and advancing in the national economic project SCTH has undertaken.
He expressed his pride in Prince Sultan’s confidence in him. He affirmed that the prince is an exceptional teacher in administration, leadership and values from which he has benefited for more than 15 years.
The new assistant president prayed to meet the prince’s high expectations and contribute to the course of growth and development based on Saudi Arabia’s deeply rooted values.
He holds two masters’ degrees in public relations and training and education techniques with a focus on marketing from Marshall University in West Virginia, US.
Before joining the commission, he was a member of the training body at the Institute of Public Administration, then SCTH’s director general of media relations, supervising organizing committees for the commission’s events.