Bid to rehabilitate jail inmates

DUBAI - The police officer in charge of the Women Prison Administration has lauded Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Wife of the President and Chairperson of UAE Women's Federation, for her efforts she made for welfare and training of women prisoners at Dubai prisons.

By (By a correspondent)

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Published: Mon 5 Jan 2004, 12:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:16 AM

In an initiative to rehabilitate women prisoners and provide them with necessary professional skills, the Women Association in Dubai, through its two branches in Dubai and Hatta, has taken up the task of training women prisoners in handicraft and providing them with raw material as well as allocating an exhibition space for displaying their products at the shows held by the association.

The training covers women prisoners in all their categories, nationalities and age groups, said Captain Fawzia Al Mulla, Director of Women Prisons at the General Directorate of Punitive Establishments in Dubai. The association will also provide work opportunities to UAE national women prisoners and seek to market products made at the women prison.

Capt. Al Mulla was speaking after a meeting with a delegation of the Women Association in Dubai. "The humane dimension can never be ignored, and these women prisoners, despite their blunders, have to be paid the attention, that is in the interest of society as a whole," said Capt. Al Mulla.

She discussed with the delegation the provision of assistance to talented women prisoners. The association will provide training opportunities to prison inmates and that will include different professional fields enabling the women to find jobs after completing their prison terms.

"Our objective is to support the positive attitudes of women and help them overcome any negative points in their lives, so that they can be helped to return to normal life," said Capt. Al Mulla.

She said the professional standards of women prisoners had surpassed in excellence the standards of women outside prison walls. That, she said, was evident in the line of products displayed at an exhibition held recently by the Women's Association.

She said the products won the admiration of exhibition visitors.

The police officer said there had been a need to establish a new vision for the meaning of prison that surpasses the traditional concept of freedom constraint and penalty imposition. "The prison now is a place for rehabilitation, reformation and taking care of inmates' rights. These are goals that we strive to achieve in reality," she said.

She said care for a prison inmate, who is a mother, is different from that of the pregnant woman. But the two categories need special care in terms of the food provided to them and the exemption of certain duties.

She said the law of punitive establishments does not deprive mothers of their infants as the latter are allowed to stay with their mothers, inside the compound, with the provision of all means of comfort.

"Dubai Police are keen on bringing the right concepts to the functioning of prisons," Capt. Al Mulla said, adding that proper facilities had been made available to accommodate mothers with infants including childbeds and other facilities such as an entertainment hall with child toys.

All child requirements have also been made available so that the child does not feel that he is in a prison or in a place other than home. The laws and regulations of punitive establishments stress that a child has to remain in the mother's care till the completion of his or her two years of age. If the child has nobody to look after him or her except the imprisoned mother, then they remain with the mother.

In case of expatriate prison inmates, procedures would be coordinated with the embassy of the country whose nationality the woman holds.

This is applicable in the case of women given long jail terms, as the child has the right to live a proper life especially if he or she had already completed two years and was no more in need of breast feeding.

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