Officials from the General Department of Correctional and Punitive Establishments of Dubai Police receiving accreditation certificates from the ACA officials. Image Credit: DMO

Dubai: The General Department of Correctional and Punitive Establishments of Dubai Police has received the prestigious international accreditation from the American Correctional Association (ACA), the world’s largest and oldest organisation devoted to advancing excellence among punitive and correctional establishments.

The accreditation recognises the 100% compliance maintained by Dubai’s correctional and punitive establishments with all international human rights standards. Dubai’s men’s prison has become the fifth in the world and first in the Middle East to receive the ACA accreditation. The women’s prison in Dubai holds the distinction of being the world’s first female correctional facility to be accredited by ACA.

Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, extended his deep gratitude to Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, for his unwavering support and guidance in raising excellence and implementing global policing best practices. His tremendous support has played a significant role in this remarkable achievement, he said.

He also thanked Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security in Dubai, for his invaluable guidance and efforts to safeguard the human rights and freedoms of all individuals.

Lieutenant General Al Marri underscored Dubai Police’s unswerving dedication to safeguarding human rights and freedoms. This commitment aligns seamlessly with the UAE’s visionary directives and strategic initiatives in the field of human rights, he noted.

Colonel Jameela Al Zaabi, Director of the Women’s Prison, receiving accredited by ACA official Image Credit: DMO

Awareness about human rights

Lt. Gen. Al Marri emphasised that Dubai Police’s internal directives and strategies are harmoniously aligned with national legislative frameworks and policies. This synergy has been instrumental in fostering sustainable development across diverse spheres, while concurrently raising awareness about human rights among people of all ethnicities and cultures. He commended the tireless dedication of all individuals and teams who have contributed to this accomplishment and underlined Dubai Police’s commitment to continuously strive for greater excellence, adding to the remarkable track record of pioneering achievements on a global scale.

During the press conference on Thursday, Dubai Police shed light on the exceptional initiatives and services it has undertaken to protect the rights of imprisoned individuals.

Held at the Dubai Police Officers Club, the press conference was chaired by Major Gen. Dr. Abdul Quddus Abdul Razzaq Al Obaidly, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Excellence and Pioneering Affairs, and Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Criminal Investigation Affairs, in the presence of Dubai Police Assistant Commandants, Directors of General Departments, Brigadier Marwan Abdul Karim Julfar, Director of the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments; Colonel Jameela Al Zaabi, Director of the women’s prison, and other officials and employees of Dubai Police.

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Sustained excellence

Major General Al Obaidly underscored the profound significance of the international accreditation. He noted that the accomplishment reflects Dubai Police’s commitment to realising the vision of the nation’s leadership that places the highest priority on global competitiveness and excellence.

Maj. Gen. Al Obaidly highlighted the fact that Dubai Police achieved a perfect 100% compliance rate across 137 international human rights standards right from the initial attempt. “These standards encompass a comprehensive array of both obligatory and discretionary criteria and cover the entire spectrum of services, programmes and initiatives extended to inmates, spanning the organisation’s seven pivotal domains, namely safety, security, order, healthcare, justice, administration and programmes and activities tailored for inmates.”

Officials from Dubai Police during the press conference on Thursday Image Credit: DMO

Reform and rehabilitation

Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri emphasised that the accreditation reflects Dubai Police’s tireless endeavours to create a contemporary and humane prison environment aligned with global human rights standards.

Maj. Gen. Al Mansouri highlighted the transformative approach of Dubai’s punitive and correctional establishments, focusing on rehabilitation and hope. The prestigious ACA accreditation underscores Dubai Police’s commitment to inmates’ well-being, spanning healthcare, education and creative growth and its dedication to positive change and human rights.

“We provide inmates opportunities to enhance their capabilities through personal creative projects, while electronic libraries provide them access to a wealth of knowledge,” he explained.

“In collaboration with partners from the public and private sectors, Dubai Police’s punitive and correctional establishments also support the humanitarian needs of inmates’ families and children. They also ensure their freedom to practise their religious rituals and offer them opportunities to continue their education and alleviate their financial burdens,” he added.

Humanitarian support

Brigadier Julfar said that Dubai’s prisons serve as a pioneering model for reform and rehabilitation. He noted that substantial financial resources are allocated annually to ensure that both male and female inmates receive all facilities and services, according to their human and legal rights.

“From 2021 to the middle of this year, we have implemented 169 programmes for inmates, including 52 training and vocational programmes, 82 educational programmes, 25 sports programmes and ten religious programmes. These initiatives reflect the reform and rehabilitation policy adopted by Dubai Police’s Punitive and Correctional Establishments to nurture inmates into responsible individuals who can reintegrate into society and make a fresh start,” he noted.

“In collaboration with our partners, we’ve delivered crucial humanitarian aid totalling Dh23,355,786 to both male and female inmates between early 2021 and mid-2023. This support has encompassed various necessities including housing rent, educational costs for inmates’ children, essential medical supplies and daily living essentials. Additionally, we’ve extended monthly allowances to those in need, provided assistance for medical treatment and equipment, supported childbirth expenses for female inmates, facilitated birth certificates for their children, and offered vital healthcare supplies, clothing and further humanitarian assistance,” he added.

Officials from Dubai Police during the press conference on Thursday Image Credit: DMO

Exceptional environment

Colonel Jameela Al Zaabi, Director of the Women’s Prison, said the prison environment promotes a social atmosphere characterised by friendship, compassion and respect, and positive interaction between the inmates and police personnel. “We provide the inmates with programmes that ensure they spend their time productively, including educational courses, training and vocational activities. These enable them to acquire new life skills and make a new start in life after completing their sentences,” she concluded.