SHARJAH // Five recently released prisoners have set off to Mecca for the Umrah pilgrimage this Ramadan. Their trip has been sponsored by the Sharjah Charity Association as part of their efforts to integrate the prisoners back into society. The former convicts left for Mecca on Saturday evening, and will stay for 10 days.
Mohammed Salim, the secretary of the association, said he hopes the trip will help the prisoners and their families. "The Umrah trip would inculcate faith into the newly released prisoners," he said. "Such faith is essential in rebuilding their lives, reintegrating them into society and stopping them from returning to crimes." He said the Umrah programme would continue throughout Ramadan and they would be sending other recently released prisoners to Mecca.
"Besides the Umrah programme, we are also involved in providing comprehensive care for prisoners by providing iftar as well as training them in different skills so that they can earn a living in a lawful manner," he said. The association signed a partnership with Sharjah Police last year to provide prisoners with vocational training and help those released from jail to find jobs and integrate back into society, said Col Abdullah Mubarak al Dukhan, the deputy director of Sharjah Police.
"Prisoners who don't find a job after their release often return to crime in order to support their families," he said. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org