x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Jail TV, a modern picture of justice

Officials say they hope the new internal television station will help inmates learn skills that will help them when they return to society.

DUBAI // Inmates at the Dubai Central Prison now have their own television station.

What is thought to be the first internal jail television station in the Gulf was inaugurated yesterday by Maj Gen Khamis Mattar al Mezeina, the deputy commander of Dubai Police, and Maj Gen Muhammad Hamid al Suwaidi, the director general of the Department of Penal and Correctional Institutions.

Prisoners with media experience and computer skills will be able to produce some of the station's content, while other programmes will be chosen by jail officials.

"We seek to meet international standards in the care of inmates, improve the level of services provided to them and inspire the spirit of competition and perseverance," Maj Gen al Mezaina said.

"This station is the first of its kind in the region and aims to create awareness, give direction and entertain inmates according to the rules and regulations set. That will help in the rehabilitation process of convicts to allow them to return to society as productive individuals."

The station will broadcast general programming for 18 hours a day, said Col Adel al Suwaidi, the director of the Education and Training Department at Dubai Police and the supervisor of the television station. The other six hours will feature content relating to inmate services.

Films, series, and religious, recreational and cultural programmes will be provided by both private and public production houses, Col al Suwaidi said.

Shows the inmates produce will be overseen by prison authorities, and "advertising breaks" will be filled with guidance for the incarcerated such as visitation times and court dates, hospital visit schedules and awareness messages.

Several departments and sections at Dubai Police will work together on the project.

The prison will be holding a yearly review of the station's programming and will be conducting surveys to evaluate its effect.

amustafa@thenational.ae