Dubai: Major General Mohammad Humaid Al Suwaidi, director of the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments of Dubai Police, said respect and dignity are high-priority hallmarks of female inmates’ treatment.
“We treat inmates in a humane manner. We treat them the way we like others to treat us. They committed a mistake, but that does not mean that we should condemn them as criminals forever,” said Major Al Suwaidi.
“The priority is to have rehabilitation programmes that prevent them from returning to a life of crime,” he said.
Major Suaad Yousuf Mohammad, director of Women’s jail, said she is keen to provide the prisoners with health care, rehabilitation and prepare them to be good members in society. Keeping them connected to the outside, whilst serving time inside, can be challenging.
“Some prisoners spend with us long terms and life outside can change every single moment so we have to keep those prisoners up-to-date,” said Major Suaad.
Prisoners have TV, magazines and some other things but the world is bigger than this and the jail management rule is to prepare those women to meet the outside world when they leave.
Major Suaad said Dubai Police are committed to performing their duties in a humane manner, driven by a desire to reform and rehabilitate the inmates. “We are always keen to treat them in a civilised and humane manner. We also have a clinic offering medical services to inmates who suffer from illness,” she added.
“Prisoners have access to 4,600 books in our library in different languages. If a prisoner wants a book in his language and it is not available in the library, we contact his consulate and embassy to provide this book.
“We offer Quran classes, computer and handwriting classes,” she added. “We are offering detainees the opportunity to reform, while helping them to learn the skills and to gain knowledge needed for their integration into mainstream society,” said Major Suaad.
Professional and educational training programmes at the prison encourage prisoners to learn new skills and explore jobs to pursue once on the outside.
The inmates are assigned a daily activity, depending on which rehabilitation programme they have been assigned to undertake. Rehabilitation can be either vocational or give inmates the opportunity to further their education.“They are taught civil defence, first aid, computer basics,” she said.
They are also taught health and hygiene and issues on “how to protect themselves from breast cancer and how to check themselves against this disease,” she said.
Prisoners who teach the Quran earn a monthly salary while the products made by the prisoners in the workshop are sold at the Global Village.
Sports also play a large role in keeping inmates fit and helps them relieve physical tensions. “We ran a basketball competition among the prisoners and now they are preparing for volleyball,” she said.
Female convicts serving terms of more than a year are housed in one building, and convicts serving less than a year are housed in another.
Each prison building has four wings, and each wing houses 10 rooms of five square metres, each with four to six beds and a bathroom. There is also a recreation room in each wing, with a television and a telephone.