Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia: Former Criminals to be Included in the Building of Domestic Economy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh Asharq Al-Awsat- The Saudi government will employ newly released prisoners in the building of the local economy. The process is carried out through the development center for small projects, one of the many projects organized by the public institution for vocational education.

Under the maintenance of Dr Ali Al Ghafees, the institution seeks to introduce and establish the concept of free labor to inmates especially those who are approaching the end of their sentences so that they integrate into society efficiently. Al Ghafees told Asharq Al Awsat that the institution has developed a plan to support the small projects in coordination with the official agencies, the private sector and a number of NGOs to assist newly released prisoners.

As for the support that will be offered to the former prisoners, Al Ghafees clarified that this would not be offered as finance. He asserted that rather, the institution would try to arrange projects for the recently released prisoners to correspond with the training that they received during their time in prison. During a seminar held in Riyadh, research was carried out into the kind of projects that would support the former prisoners and ways to support the charity that aims to relieve poverty amongst them, which is run by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Saudi Prisons, Brigadier Ali Al Harthy denied that there is no intention to let go of some prison officers despite receiving a number requests from them indicating that the director general might examine some requests. He noted that the Saudi Prisons Authority might accept some of the requests as long as this would not impede on the work of others. Al Harthy also stressed that due to the positive psychological effects of financial rewards, the authority would continue to issue them to inmates on a monthly basis.

Al Ghafees and Al Harthy were both participants in a workshop that opened in Riyadh and was organized by the public authority for vocational training in prisons. The workshop included several papers presented by experts of vocational training and education from all over the Kingdom for ex-offenders. The workshop would focus on the role of prison directors in vocational training, the role of the aforementioned center for developing small projects to support ex-offenders, how to prepare the facilities required for the training and how to apply such training.