(MENAFN - Arab News) The Directorate of Prisons (DP) has given the green signal for the construction of four new reform centers in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif, and Dammam at a cost of SR5.2 billion, local media said quoting a senior official of the DP.
In a statement to Al-Eqtisadayah daily, head of the DP Engineering Section Rami Bahais said the first reform center, at Hair Road, will be finalized in the next five months to accommodate some 7,500 male and female inmates of the Riyadh region. Another nine model prisons will be set up in other cities in the next two years whose budget will be approved later, he said.
He said the designs of the model prisons will take into consideration the international standards adopted by US reforms organizations.
The movement of the prisoners will be governed by three systems: Open, closed and semi-closed. Most of the world follows the closed system but the DP has given freedom of movement to the prisoners within the reform centers and even allowed them to work in the industrial city which will be located adjacent to the centers. This is in light of an agreement made with the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon) for the establishment of the industrial city whose aim will be to recruit and train prisoners and have their products sold at the local market.
The reform centers will have branch colleges of higher education institutions and remote education services while the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) will set up branches equipped with workshops in each city to absorb 1,000 inmates at a time, he said.
The DP plans to allocate 15 plots of land for the aged inmates to be used in the areas of agriculture and animal breeding including camels and sheep, he said.
In a related development, Director General of DP Ibrahim Al-Hamza, speaking at a GCC prisoners' event, said that no prison in the Kingdom keeps a prisoner beyond the expiration date of his sentence.
He said that foreign women in Saudi jails form the largest proportion of inmates and their crimes are mostly of a financial nature.