Prisoners in Qatar can join distance education



In fact, the agencies were earlier holding regular classes in the prisons in coordination with the education ministry but had to abandon them due to a lack of response.

"Inmates were not serious about pursuing education," Brigadier General Nasser Abdulaziz Al Muslim, Director of the Reformative Institutions, told the daily.

However, asked if they would allow a prisoner to pursue distance education, he said: "Yes, we can even arrange coaching and provide the necessary books and stationery."

There is a library in the central prison which has more than 10,000 books.

The focus of the jail and reformative agencies is not on punishing a prisoner but to reform and rehabilitate him, he said.

There is active cooperation between the jail authorities and various charitable organisations and financial assistance is provided to the families of a prisoner if he is the breadwinner.

Since the social security system was launched for nationals in 1995, the dependants of prisoners facing jail terms of six months or more are also covered under it, the official said.

Qatar’s first prison was established in 1949 in Doha and a central prison was opened in Rumailah in 1954.

The present central facility with modern amenities based on the concept of modern jails worldwide, was set up in 1986.

The first jail for women was set up in 1983 and it was manned by women security staff trained at the Police Academy.

Later, an independent jail building was built and it is also manned entirely by women security personnel.

There is a committee which has members from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and Housing which helps a prisoner who has served his term to get a job and be integrated back into the social mainstream.

Another official, Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Kilaifik Al Ottaibi, said that outsiders are allowed to meet a prisoner but they cannot have more than four visitors at a time.

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