Rehab programme for Ajman inmates

Inmates at Ajman’s central jail can learn trades and skills as part of a reform and rehabilitation programme while serving time for crimes.

AJMAN // Inmates at Ajman’s central jail can learn trades and skills as part of a reform and rehabilitation programme while serving time for crimes.

A focus on educating and retraining prisoners so they have a chance of a better life when they are released is key, said Brig Sheikh Sultan Al Nuaimi, acting commander-in-chief of Ajman Police.

“We reform before punishing and this is important for the development of the prisoners,” said Brig Al Nuaimi. “Our concern is [to make them feel] that they are equal [with community’s members] after getting out of prison and can get jobs, because today prisons are no longer as the old prisons, they are correctional institutions.”

Religious programmes such as memorising the Quran, teaching hadith and Sunnah, are offered to inmates, as well as classes for converts to Islam.

“Muslim prisoners have special lectures about [Islamic] faith, but we present these lectures to all,” said Lt Amal Al Moutawa, manager for production and activities in punitive and correctional Institutions.

“Inmates who are from other religions have lectures talking about such things as honesty and cleanliness. We communicate with the Ajman Education Zone and work on providing teachers who come to the institution and give lessons and tests. During the exam period, inmates are tested as ordinary school students.”

Prisoners serving time for financial crimes can be offered support through the Faraj Fund, which was set up to clear the debts of inmates who are unable to do so themselves.

“Prisoners who enter the jail because of financial problems are helped through the Faraj Fund, which is the largest supporter of this issue,” said Lt Al Moutawa. “We don’t differentiate between citizen and expatriate; all are treated equally.

“In addition, we help their families by paying electricity bills and school fees after studying their financial cases to see if they really need help. We [recently] released an Egyptian prisoner who had debts of about Dh168,000.”

Inmates can earn a salary if they are chosen to take part in a workshop course to learn crafts, including carpentry and sewing.

“Firstly the prisoner must have a good record in the jail because they will use tools such as hammers, saws and knives. Secondly, they go to the doctor to show their health and psychological state,” said Lt Al Moutawa.

Items made by prisoners are sold at fairs and festivals, with the money given to the prisoners and their families.

“The prisoners get between Dh2 and Dh8 based on working days, except weekends when there is no work,” said Lt Al Moutawa.

“We also give money for those who memorise the Quran.”

roueiti@thenational.ae

Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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