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New law to help prisoners reintegrate into society

New prison regulations may cut down five percent of the prison sentence for inmates who successfully pass a school year, or two equivalent training programs, up to a maximum of 15 percent during a prison sentence of one year or more.
The announcement was made by the head of prisons in Makkah, Col. Saleh bin Ali A-Qahtani, during the observance of "Prisoner Week" in the Gulf states, organized Thursday by the Makkah Reform Organization.
According to Al-Qahtani, the Makkah prisons department has embarked on the development of regulations and rules to enable prisoners to work outside prisons and return, as per strategies and guidelines established in partnership between the private sector and the Ministry of Labor.
According to the recommendations and regulations, prisoners should have a remaining prison sentence of at least four months, while Al-Qahtani suggested that priority should be given to inmates who are heads of family, and that the pay scale should start from SR4,000. He added that a number of private sector companies have approached the prisons in Makkah to recruit a number of inmates.
“What the Makkah prison authority is offering is only a fraction of the level of support and care provided by the Ministry of Interior and the General Directorate of Prisoners to inmates,”
Al-Qahtani said, noting the all civil and government institutions should work together to reform the rehabilitation process.
“This week's events include more than 40 activities varying from entertainment, sports, races and intellectual session to religious activities and were implemented for male and female prisoners,” the official explained.
As part of the events, children of inmates and their families had free access to the entertainment center at Makkah Mall, in addition to a free meal at any restaurant they selected from a list of famous establishments.
“The correctional, educational and rehabilitation programs for inmates receives extensive support from Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif and General Director of Prisons Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Hamzi," Al-Qahtani added.

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