(MENAFN - Arab News) An official of the Prisoners Care Committee (PCC) has demanded immediate improvement in the conditions of prisons in the in Baha province.
Abdul Qadir Kuhlan, chairman of the Baha PCC, said prisoners are living in poor hygienic conditions, getting bad rations and sleeping in narrow rooms in the provincial prison.
Since there is no secluded rooms, inmates are denied their right to be alone with their visiting families, Al-Watan daily reported on Friday.
An official of the jail administration, Maj. Saleh Al-Ajab, attributed such problems to the fact that jails are housed in rented buildings.
"A new jail building is under construction and another reformatory building is nearing completion on the Al-Aqeeq Road," Al-Ajab said while speaking in a recent workshop on prisons organized by the Prisoners Care Committee in which a number of jail official participated.
"Number of prisoners were few in Baha in the past. But in recent years with the increase in population prisons are full and the nature of crimes diversified. However, efforts are being made to improve the conditions in jails," Al-Ajab said.
Another speaker in the workshop, General Supervisor of Support Programs at the Social Affairs Ministry Khaled Al-Thubaity called on jail employees to improve the level of their services to prisoners.
"You and we are all friends of prisoners and we are offering humanitarian services rather than discharging any official work," Al-Thubaity said, adding that the ministry was ready to offer assistance to any section that needed it.
It is unfortunate that women employees are denied insurance service. It creates a lot of social problems, he said.
For instance, he said, when the husband of a woman employee goes to jail, his children are viewed as orphans because legally a mother does no have the legal responsibility to spend for her children.
He also stressed the need for social researchers to visit jails periodically and strive to increase the prisoners' awareness about their rights and many new regulations that support their rights.
He said the social researchers can organize lectures and workshops and distribute booklets to help prisoners.
Ali Sadran, director general of Social Insurance in Baha, said in his speech that his department used to press the ministry for better services in jails.
He also noted that no social research work is undertaken in the Baha jail because of shortage of qualified hands. There is also a shortage of information about prisoners, he said.