MAKKAH: Makkah Province Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal launched in Jeddah a prison diversion project and an associated research chair by Umm Al-Qura University.
The project aims to effectively integrate and rehabilitate ex-convicts by proper characterization of cases and necessary legal punishments based on comprehensive psychosocial assessments.
It seeks to create a qualitative shift in penal sections through the public, private and nonprofit sectors to create optimum reform alternatives that meet national needs.
In addition to ensuring the appropriate integration of ex-convicts into society, the project enables judicial authorities to develop and implement reform alternatives that take into account individual interests.
It will also create a suitable environment for implementing reformist alternatives and the appropriate climate for relevant government departments.
In its upcoming phase, the project will study and observe proposed alternative penalties for violations that are unorganized punitive crimes, are not governed by a legal limit and do not require arrest, provided that private rights are handled.
Before the launch of the project, the executive committee, headed by Deputy Governor of Makkah Province Prince Badr bin Sultan, held more than 14 discussion sessions, during which several topics were discussed, including the concept of alternative punishments and their legal rooting, and psychological and social intervention, and its role in alternative punishments in judicial applications.
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal witnessed the signing of an agreement to establish the chair between Umm Al-Qura University, represented by its president Dr. Maadi Al-Madhab, Abdulrahman Faqih, and on his behalf, Tariq Faqih.
The chair aims to measure the impact of correctional alternatives, analyze data and results, and study the psychological, social and economic conditions of convicts to determine appropriate reform alternatives. It also aims to study possible alternatives based on common practices and community needs.
In accordance with Vision 2030 sustainable development goals, the Kingdom continues to offer community support programs for released prisoners, which allows their rehabilitation into society.
Saudi efforts in prisoner integration already exist, such as Trahom, the National Committee for the Welfare of Prisoners and Their Families, which is sponsored by 21 companies and helps support community projects targeted at prisoner rehabilitation.
Trahom works in cooperation with 12 government bodies, including the Public Prosecution, Council of Saudi Chambers, and the ministries of health, justice, education, and human resources and social development.