Brigadier Ahmad Abdul Aziz Shuhail, Director-General of the Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishment, gave details to Gulf News on how the Sharjah Government was caring for inmates and their families through a memorandum signed between Sharjah Police and a number of partners including Ayadi, Sharjah Charity Association and Emirates Red Crescent to conduct rehabilitation programmes and initiatives.
Brigadier Shuhail said a special committee has been set up to arbitrate criminal cases in which deserving inmates sentenced to death are spared when victims’ families are paid blood money. The Sharjah punitive facility formed a committee to communicate with families of the victims to settle the cases between the two parties. In 99 per cent of cases, the committee has succeeded in bringing about a settlement. The facility also prepares a list of inmates who deserve to be pardoned by the Rulers during Ramadan and Eid.
Blood money arranged
In another case, an Arab man from a Gulf nation was in jail for murdering his wife. Her family, who lived overseas, asked for Dh1 million in blood money. “The facility, in cooperation with its partners [Farj Fund, Sharjah Charity Association, Red Crescent and Ayadi committee], paid the amount,” Brigadier Shuhail said.
In another humanitarian case, the Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishments allowed one of its prisoners to attend his parents’ burial ceremony recently.
The three inmates were arrested a few months ago over rental and financial cases. They were released on October 11 after extensive negotiations with complainants. Of the three prisoners, there was one from Egypt, aged 49, whose dues amounted to Dh217,302. This was reduced to Dh50,000. The second prisoner, from Pakistan aged 35, had his dues lowered from Dh104,000 to Dh50,000. The third prisoner from Bangladesh aged 31, owed Dh30,000, which was reduced to Dh15,000. The three prisoners told officers they could not believe what the authorities had done for them.
This is not the first time the authorities have helped repay debts of to help reform them and start a new life.
The priority is to maintain a healthy environment in prison, and conduct rehabilitation programmes that prevent inmates from returning to a life of crime, Brigadier Shuhail said, noting that all rehabilitation programmes carried out at the central jail aim to make inmates aware of the mistakes they have committed. The inmates are assigned daily activities, depending on which rehabilitation programme they have been assigned to undertake. The rehabilitation programme can be either occupational workshops, or an opportunity to continue their education. They include computer classes, tourism courses or religious programmes like memorising the Quran.
Farming classes give inmates hope
Inmates obtain diplomas
A total of 20 inmates have joined the second batch. Three of them have been released and will continue their study outside the jail on the expense of the Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishments.
Items on display
Items on display include a replica an ancient camel figurine, an incense burner, writing instruments including pens and papers, heritage costume and clothing, Arabian perfumes and cupping (Hejama) tools that were once used in holistic health therapy.
Beside each items is a brief about the history of the displayed items written in Arabic, English and Urdu.