Monday, January 26, 2009

Inmates Complain of Jail Conditions

There is not a lot of information available to the public about jails and prisons in The Sandbox. The few articles and the one book I have read about them have not been at all complimentary. But then, jail and prison are not supposed to be places where you book resort vacations, right? Unless of course you go to jail in the United States or Great Britain. Then you are guaranteed all sorts of rights, gourmet "halal" meals, and cable television in your "room," so even though it probably is not the ideal "resort vacation," it is a pretty close second compared to jails and prisons in the rest of the world.

That inmates are even allowed to complain about jail conditions in other parts of the world is actually quite remarkable. And, that an article has been published in the newspaper, and is on-line, for the entire world to view is even more remarkable.

I tried to find more information, on-line, about the jails and prisons, this morning. There is a minimal amount of information "out there," and it goes without saying that certain books - at least one, specifically, about prisons and conditions and abuse, etc., is not going to be found on bookstore or library shelves, here. I did find an interesting article, "Prison Information Pack - Saudi Arabia," which gives some information on what you can expect if something happens and you end up in prison, here. That it was even written is quite telling, in my opinion. Wikipedia has nothing. Again, there is not a whole of information out there.

The inmates complaints "included poor ventilation of cells and wards and lack of exposure to sunlight... being detained after the completion of their stipulated term..." [which sounds much more serious than poor ventilation!]. "Many detainees told the NSHR [National Society for Human Rights] that they have not been taken to their court hearings, which let to situations where the courts passed judgments in their absence..." It is a relatively short article and relatively "fluffy." I wonder what the repercussions might be for any inmate that speaks up about conditions that might be less than ideal?

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