JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Friday 22 February 2013
Last update 22 February 2013 12:35 am
Prisoner welfare in jails in the Kingdom will soon be a reality if The National Committee for Prisoners, their Families and Ex-Convicts (Tarahum) has its way.
“Tarahum’s strategic plans call for the positive development of inmates in reformatories and jails, and the welfare of inmates, their families and of ex-convicts so that they will never relapse to their old criminal ways,” Tarahum’s report for 2012 said.
It undertook separate projects for prisoners and their families and for ex-prisoners. The projects targeting inmates included the settlement of loans of prisoners who could not pay their debts, organizing training in various trades and conducting lectures, cultural and sports events, and social and psychological programs inside jails.
Tarahum also sought the volunteer help of lawyers to represent prisoners in courts.
It also undertook humanitarian projects such as organizing family days and providing secluded rooms for family meetings.
The programs aimed at ex-convicts were mainly focused on conducting training programs and financing efforts to find jobs besides offering assistance in cash and kind, the report said.
It also helped ex-prisoners to perform Haj and Umrah and organized cultural, religious and amusement events throughout the Kingdom. It also paid special attention to those who were released after serving time for drug addiction with the help of the National Anti-Narcotic Committee and mental health organizations. Those ex-convicts who wanted to lead a family life were given cash assistance for getting married.
The assistance to prisoners’ families included payment of apartment rents and utility bills, supply of food, clothes and furniture apart from cash assistance. Tarahum also provided them with social and moral support and educational and health aid.
The charity organization also participated in the Janadriah Cultural and Heritage Festival for the eighth time in a row with the aim of attracting public attention to the difficulties of the prisoners’ families and of ex-convicts. It also distributed 155,000 awareness booklets and flyers.
Its activities also included celebration of a Kingdom-wide Inmates Day in all provinces in December with the participation of the General Directorate of Prisons.