Prisoners Welfare Services

Human Rights

Prisoners Welfare Services

 

prisoner

Background

The number of people incarcerated in prisons around the world is on the rise. The world inmate population is roughly about 8 to 10 million people. This increase in prisoners numbers has resulted in severe or overcrowding of the prison and other retention facilities. The overall figures are difficult to estimate due to some countries refusal to disclose information about their penal facilities even such basic facts as a number of inmates held.

While conditions of detention vary greatly from country to country and facility to facility standard to most countries or shockingly low. Prisons and jails even in the richest and the most developed countries are plagued by severe overcrowding, detained physical infrastructure, a lack of medical care, guard abuse and corruption and prisoners and prisoner violence with the public primarily concerned about keeping prisoner locked up rather that about the conditions in which prisoners were confined, little progress has been made toward remedying these abuses.

Who We Are

Prisoners Welfare Service is a project of the ‘Progress’ Peace and Human Rights Program. It works for promoting a better understanding of what prison is and what it does to people. It endeavors for the improvement and well being of the prisoners in the short term to the dismantling of the present prison system as a means of containment.

In the realization that women often suffer oppression as a result of their general low status in the society the service aims at women offenders in prison and prohibition services working effectively to stop them from re-offending, providing women prisoners, those discharged from prisons and the vulnerable women in particular a network of a support in the community, including access to justice, freedom and human dignity.

Our Vision

Our vision for women offenders in prison and the prohibition services is that they work effectively to stop offenders from re-offending, provision of a network of support for vulnerable women in the community, both to prevent them offending in the first place and to support the settlement of ex-offenders .This must be seen in context to overall efforts to tackle poverty, social exclusion, drug abuse, improving care for children and to bring about a fair society- All that makes a difference in the life for women.

Women Prisoners

Shielded from the public view and populated largely by the poor, uneducated and politically powerless, prisons tend to remain hidden sides of human rights abuse. Women prisoners have different characteristics to male prisoners and different from most women in the society. Women offenders tend to commit less serious crimes than men and have a shorter criminal career.

Because women are in a small minority of the offending population the factors leading women to offend and re-offend have often been overlooked. We do not subscribe to the “all women offenders are victims –rehurted- nor to the equally misguided view that women offenders are a lost cause, we also reject any preferential treatment for women offenders. Research suggest that women are less likely than men to go to prison even within the same offence groups.

Objectives

These programs provide these women to make life style changes that ultimately reduces their chance of recidivism. Statistics of women in prison demonstrate that majority share similar histories, barriers and personal issues prior to their arrest and conviction.

The numerous issues that women in prison must cope with seen overwhelming however incarcerations can be vied as a positive turning point for female inmates and it presents an opportunity for the women to tackle issues that would other wise go on unresolved. Giving them a chance to recognized that what they were doing, the choices they were making, didn’t work. And realizing that it is why they are in prison.

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Empowerment

These gender specific programs empower women prisoners facing multiple barriers to gain the confidence required for facing life and society and attaining self sufficiency both during and on release from prison.

The program empower the participants by encouraging them to re-access to their behavior, gain marketable skills and build self esteemed in addition to providing transitional support these components of the program are the imperative because the majority of inmates will be returning to the environment they came from the goal is to instill a strong sense of self and reliable network to prevent the women from reverting to same harmful habits and group of people they were associated with before incarceration.

Role Models

Women in prison must prepare for what they are going to do, how they are going to do it and really find a new way of doing things. It is absolutely necessary to have a plan of action before they leave prison.

Positive role models are also a determining factor in preventing and permanently avoiding their previous criminal behavior it is crucial for women to see how and where fit into society from people in the community who are not a part for the criminal subculture. Volunteers serve as teachers, reinforcing alternative lifestyle options and the available revenues to effectively change previous habits of the female inmates.

Our Services

Our services include the following gender specific programs empowering women prisoners facing multiple barriers to gain the confidence required for facing life and society and attaining self sufficiency both during and on release from prison.

  • Human rights/gender awareness.
  • Poverty Alleviation.
  • Mentoring Services.
  • Personal and Medical Care.
  • Skills accusation training.
  • Rehab Planning.
  • Social welfare services.
  • Public enlightenment and advocacy.

Mentors

Female offenders need to be surrounded with healthy people to move into a new way of living their lives by bringing in mentors, volunteers and people who are once in the replace that have succeeded which shows the women how to do it. This community support is one of the most pivotal pieces of the program. Mentors are individuals from the community who volunteer their time and energy to assist women in prison preparing to leave and after their release, as they transit back into their society. They educate female offenders and teach them how to cope, survive and solve problems in a pro social manners also assisting them find a job and providing moral support and advice on both professional and personal levels.

Prisoner Issues

Prisoner Abuses

Unchecked out bust of violence occur in many prisons violating prisoners right to life. Mask killings as such, may merit and occasional mention in the press, but the vast majority of inmate desks go unnoticed in some countries. Inmates are usually killed by other inmates rather than by guards and is usually the predictable assert of official negligence.

Prison Death Rates

Are often higher than comparable rates among the population outside prisons. While violence is a factor in some facilities- often the predictable result of overcrowding, mall nutrition, unhygienic conditions and lack of medical care- remains the most common cause of death in prisons.

Communicable diseases

Food shortages combined with extreme overcrowding create ideal conditions for the spread of communicable diseases.

T B and HIV/AIDS epidemic has ravaged prison around the world including Pakistan- with the increasing prevalence of multi drug resistance strains of these disease.

Sexual Abuse

Women prisoners are particularly vulnerable. The holding together of juvinile and adults in the same lockups often make children a victim of a physical abuse including raped by adults.

Prison law and regulation

Few if any of the prison systems observe the “standard minimum rules and the necessary procedures.

Financial Constrains

Financial and competing budget priorities, all to blame for prison deficiencies but ask prison conditions are somehow purposely imposed.

Overcrowding

Overcrowding is at the route of many of the worst abuses. It is most often severe in smaller political detention facilities where inmates are packed together with no space to stall or move about.

Prison Facilities

Reliance on old, antiquated and physically decaying facilities with lack of maintenance add to the prison in inadequacies some prisons lack a functional system of plumbing, leaving prisoners to “stop-out” their selves, that is to defecate in buckets that are periodically emptied.

Isolated Prison Cells

They are used for both the political and more dangerous, disruptive and escape prone prisoners. Inmates are locked up in cells for lengthy periods, deprived of human contact and lacking opportunities for exercise, work, education or other activities. Such conditions and endanger prisoner’s physical and mental health.

Public Apathy

With few means to draw a public attention to violations of their rights, prisoners around the world frequently resort to hunger strike, self mutilation, rioting and other forms of protest.

Distortion And Guard Complains

Is common in prison around the world and given the substantial powers that guards yield on inmates these problems are predictable and are aggravated by the low salaries that guards are paid. Inmates are make to supplement guard salaries in exchange for contra band or special treatment.

Physical Abuse By Guards

It is another chronic problem. The continuous use of corporal punishment and the routine use of leg irons, falters, shackles and chains results in making and turning simple movements such as walking into painful ordeals unwarranted meetings being common and a integral part of prison life.

For further information please contact

Progress Secretariat

Plot No. 73/E-1, 9th Jami Commercial St,
Phase 7, D.H.A, Karachi, Pakistan.
Tel: (9221) 35802346; 35389098;
Fax: (9221) 35380931; Mob: 0300-8289400
Email: foundationforprogress@yahoo.com
Website: www.progress.org.pk