Charitable Services for Female Prisoners [Archives:2000/31/Last Page]

July 31 2000

A charitable service program focusing on women jailed in the Central Prison of Hodeidah is currently implemented. The program was started in the beginning of June and will last till the end of September.
The program is organized by the Center for Youths Researches and Development and funded by the Danish government. The program aims at providing humane, legal and educational assistance for woman prisoners who are considered to be “in conflict with the law” meaning that laws are very aggressive in dealing with them, Dr. Mohammed Awad Ba Obaid said. The program provides them with the following assistance:
Health Assistance:
According to statistics 45 woman prisoners with 26 children are now benefiting from the program of health care. The program provides these prisoners with the medical inspection conducted by specialists of women and children. 85 cases, women and children, were examined and treated during the first two weeks of July. According to physicians, urinary, genital tracts diseases, digestion and breathing systems, anemia, malnutrition, and skin diseases are the most prevalent diseases.
The program provides these prisoners with the prescribed medicine on a regular basis. Some sanitary pads and other health requirements such as washing powder, shampoo, children’s anti- heat powder are also distributed to the woman prisoners in the beginning of each month. Fruits and milk are also distributed so as to compensate for the sharp deterioration of the nutrition level. A special attention is also paid to pregnancy cases and those who have got infants in terms of providing them with milk and special kind of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
To ensure health care services a clinic fully equipped with all necessary medical equipment was established in the place of a solitary confinement cell.
The Legal Assistance:
The legal assessment of the prisoners was carefully studied. It came out that 37 out of 44 Yemeni female prisoners are arrested due to immoral issues including adultery, close proximity even in places deemed to be public, 3 theft cases and 4 murders. Thoroughly studying these cases, some lawyers came to the conclusion that these women were arrested according to weak legal warrants. Besides, the general passive attitude of judges and Law Enforcing Institutions about woman is the key reason behind their severe judicial verdicts, especially if the charge is concerned with immoral issues.
Social Assistance:
A social survey on female prisoners was conducted so as to bridge the gap between these female prisoners and their families. The center contacted these families through some mediators so as to solve these female prisoners’ issues. This has actually had a positive effect on the female prisoners and their families as well. The center has also asked the assistance of a psychologist to examine the prisoners’ psychological situation and help them overcome their difficulties and to adapt themselves to the environment of prison. A study will soon be released in this regard.
The Cultural and Entertaining Activity:
An abandoned hall in the prison was converted into a cultural center. It was renovated, furnished with chairs, tables, a TV set, fans, carpets, boards and some brain-storming games. A library with books and magazines was also established.