x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Give former UAE prisoners a second chance, Sharjah council urges

Sharjah Consultative Council asks police to issue good conduct certificates to ex-prisoners to help them find work.

SHARJAH // Emirati prisoners could be given help to find jobs and rebuild their lives once released.

Members of the Sharjah Consultative Council, the advisory body for the emirate’s Government, have asked police to issue good-conduct certificates to help them find work and keep them from re-offending.

“The certificates would help them find jobs and integrate again into society,” said Mohammed Juma bin Hendi, the council’s Speaker.

“There is the stigma of being ex-prisoners making it difficult for them to find a job and once they are unemployed they would often resort back to crime.”

Sharjah Municipality’s human-resources department was asked to give special consideration to former convicts and help them to find placements in different Government departments.

The council also recommended that prisoners who committed minor offences be kept away from those jailed for more serious crimes, such as drugs. Juveniles should always be kept away from older criminals.

Sharjah Police and the Ministry of Justice were asked to coordinate with embassies and consulates to enable foreign prisoners who had served their sentences to be easily deported.

The Department of Naturalisation and Foreign Affairs was urged to streamline procedures for deporting illegal immigrants so as not to overcrowd jails.

The council’s 40-strong members also asked the police to establish new, larger jails that could accommodate more prisoners and were compliant with international standards.

The new facilities should have a modern clinic with a full staff of medical personnel working 24 hours a day.

Recommendations made by the council must first be approved by the Ruler of Sharjah, Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, before being implemented.

The council session yesterday was the final meeting before the summer recess. It is expected to resume operations in November.

ykakande@thenational.ae