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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Helping former prisoners and their families get their lives back on track

As part of the second annual GCC Inmates Week, held under the theme 'Lead me to a better future' members of the public are being asked to lend a hand to former inmates and their families to help get their lives back on track.
Brigadier Mohammed Eid Al Madhloom, the director general of Sharjah Police’s operations room, spoke at the annual GCC Inmates Week about the major role a community plays in keeping ex-inmates away from crime after their release from prison. Lee Hoagland / The National
Brigadier Mohammed Eid Al Madhloom, the director general of Sharjah Police’s operations room, spoke at the annual GCC Inmates Week about the major role a community plays in keeping ex-inmates away from crime after their release from prison. Lee Hoagland / The National

SHARJAH // A week of events aimed at rehabilitating ex-prisoners and integrating them back into society has been launched in Sharjah.

As part of the second annual GCC Inmates Week, held under the theme “Lead me to a better future”, members of the public are being asked to lend a hand to former inmates and their families to help get their lives back on track.

Brigadier Mohammed Eid Al Madhloom, the director general of Sharjah Police’s operations room, said the community had a major role to play in guiding people away from crime after their release from prison.

“The community has a big role in helping the inmates, from taking care of their families while they serve their term to helping them reintegrate into society on their release,” he said.

“They should also help the inmates, especially those with financial problems or who are supposed to pay blood money to meet these obligations and regain their freedom.”

Events taking place around the emirate include a get together party for the families of prisoners at Al Thiqah Club for Handicapped on Wednesday, a showcase of classic cars, theatrical dramas and awareness sessions held by police at Al Qasba every evening of the week.

Major Mana Ali Al Naqbi, who is organising the events, said: “This year’s week is packed with activities for the families of the inmates as well as the newly released inmates aimed at helping them integrate back into society.”

Students from Al Andalus girls school and Al Ramaqia boys school performed a drama highlighting the pain families endure when their loved ones are jailed and a number of former inmates were honoured for their good behaviour after being released.

Among them was 49-year-old Arab national T S who served three years for financial crimes. He said prison was an experience he would never forget.

“You can not understand the blessings you have to be free and daily seeing your family until these blessings are taken away and you are locked up in a prison,” he said.

“For the three years I was in prison, not a single hour went by without reminding me of the happy days I had with my children and I would always be missing them.”

Brig Al Madhloom said work on a Dh400 million correctional and rehabilitation centre being built in Sharjah was about 75 per cent complete, and was expected to be finished by April next year.

“The new establishment is being constructed with the highest international standards and equipped with all acceptable facilities,” he said.

The building will replace the emirate’s old prison that had become run down and in need of major repair work. In 2010, six inmates escaped from their cells by removing a window. They were arrested two days later.

ykakande@thenational.ae

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