DAMMAM – Having a guardian’s consent is a prerequisite for the release of female prisoners who have completed their jail terms. Current prison and detention regulations forbid keeping anyone in jail after they have served their sentences but nearly 35 percent of female prisoners remain incarcerated after finishing their jail terms because they are rejected by their families, Al-Sharq newspaper reported Friday.
Many families sever ties with their daughters because the crimes they committed had brought shame on them, especially in cases involving honor. Statistics indicate that 104 out of 196, or 53 percent, of inmates in women’s care institutions were involved in honor crimes while 10 percent involved in murder cases.
Calls for allocating homes for released female prisoners have lately become more and more vocal. These homes, which are to fall under state supervision, will offer both shelter and social protection to released prisoners. The calls were made because current regulations do not compel guardians to receive female relatives released from prison if the guardians renounce the relationship and sever all ties with them.
In other cases, female prisoners fear returning home and facing their families. They are afraid that they might fall victim to violence. In both cases, the female inmate is in a state of loss and prefers to remain away from society.
According to a recent statement made by the Directorate General of Prisons, prison administrations throughout the Kingdom try repeatedly to convince families to accept their relatives released from prison, so they can be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society but in the absence of laws protecting the rights of inmates, these efforts are wasted.
The task of caring for female prisoners lies with the National Committee for the Care of Prisoners’ Families and Persons Released (Tarahum). There are institutions that provide care to female prisoners in Riyadh, Makkah, Al-Ahsa and Abha.
According to a report issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs for 2011-2012, the number of female beneficiaries in these four institutions stood at 1,521, an increase of 299 inmates compared to the previous year. Over 1,312 female inmates were admitted to these institutions in 2012-2013.