Luxury In Jail

Luxury In Jail

Luxury In Jail

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THE Central Prison in Abha with its world-class facilities such as industrial workshops, unique family homes and advanced healthcare services underscores the support and care given by Saudi authorities for prisoners to rehabilitate them and make them good citizens.

“We were surprised to find a star hotel inside the complex and the prison director explained to us that it was for receiving families of prisoners.
It provides necessary privacy for family members when meeting their imprisoned relatives,” said Alhassan Al-Sayyed, a reporter for Al-Madinah Arabic newspaper who recently visited the prison as part of a media tour.

This high quality hotel has luxury suites with two rooms, good furniture and a playroom for children. The guests are given meals in accordance with their needs and tastes. Hot and cool drinks are also served. There is a box full of children’s requirements in each suite.

Al-Sayyed visited the new facility accompanied by Brig. Mubarak Al-Selais, director of prisons in Asir province, Col. Ayed Al-Shahrani, director of Abha Central Prison, and Maj. Nasser Al-Qahtani, director of rehabilitation and reforms.

All visitors undergo thorough screening by members of military police before being allowed to enter the jail premises. Police use advanced security equipment for inspections.

The jail has administrative buildings, a central kitchen and dining hall, security gates and a reception hall. “Work is under way to renovate existing cells and construct new ones,” Al-Sayyed said.

There are classrooms, facilities to treat drug addicts and a polyclinic as well as a garden and a jogging area.

The polyclinic has specialty clinics for general medicine, dentistry and dermatology, in addition to a laboratory, a pharmacy and an X-ray unit, a dressing room and a department for medical records. The polyclinic is 100 percent run by Saudi personnel.

“At the family home or the Bait Al-Ayeli we saw a female receptionist receiving wives of prisoners and their children and accompanying them to their allotted rooms,” he said. Only female Saudi employees are appointed in this section to ensure the privacy of families.

“During the tour we also witnessed construction of new cells, which were designed according to international standards, providing them with sufficient ventilation to ensure the comfort of prisoners,” the reporter said.

The director of prisons, Brig. Al-Selais, met with engineers of the contracting company and gave them directions to make necessary changes in the construction plan.

“Once the project is completed Abha Central Prison will become a world-class one as it is being built as per international specifications,” Al-Qahtani said.

The polyclinic was the next stopover during the tour. “The main feature of this polyclinic is that it is fully manned by Saudis. It has a department for medical records, which is a first of its kind in the Kingdom’s prisons.
It will issue cards to inmates to prevent impersonation,” he said.

The industrial institute is another unique feature of the prison. The products of inmates are marketed through an association. Inmates are given professional training and Al-Madinah witnessed the graduation of 79 inmates who have completed various courses.

Al-Selais congratulated the graduates as well as those who have received royal pardon on the occasion of Ramadan. He urged all prisoners to get ready for returning to society as good citizens.

Later, Al-Selais opened an exhibition showcasing the works and products of inmates.