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‘Family Home’ for prisoners to allow near & dear visits, conjugal relations

Site located in Sulaibiya Prison Complex

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 4: The requirement of legal seclusion and conjugal visits for prisoners with their spouses is close to implementation. After years of inmates from correctional institutions, organizations and human rights societies in the country demanding this right, four government and charitable agencies have started procedures to establish a “family home” for detainees inside the Central Prison.

They will be allowed to receive their families, and conjugal visits between spouses will be permitted, reports Al- Qabas daily. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Society for Abstinent Families Bader Al-Mubarak explained that the “family home”, which the society will oversee under the umbrella of the Ministry of Social Affairs with the cooperation of the Ministry of Interior and with generous funding from the Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation, aims to promote general principles of human rights, as well as reform, refine and correct the behavior of both male and female inmates by achieving a suitable family environment for their guests and reunion of their families.

Demand
In order to fulfill this humanitarian demand, the government agencies, headed by the Ministry of Interior, are seeking to provide reasons for reuniting families of the inmates through the family home, and create an opportunity for families to once again live for some time in a family atmosphere whereby grandparents, parents, spouses, children and grandchildren can enjoy an atmosphere of love and harmony with their family member who is an inmate.

He said, “The family home will allow for conjugal visits, taking into account the regulations specified by Islamic law, and ensuring this pioneering addition in the prison complex area is in line with the recommendations of the protocols and conventions of international human rights bodies and organizations.”

Al-Mubarak indicated that the proposed site for the family home is within the walls of the Prison Complex in Sulaibiya area, next to the Operations Department of the Correctional Institutions Affairs and Judgment Enforcement Sector. He revealed that the building will have an entrance and a reception hall for inmates, in addition to living units, whereby each unit will contain a living room, a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. Al-Mubarak revealed that the family home project will be implemented soon, taking into account all the legal and security controls required in this regard for its implementation under a societal partnership, fruitful and constructive cooperation among the Ministry of Interior, state institutions and public benefit associations.

It is based on the prisons organization Law No. 26/1962, which includes the right of an imprisoned husband to be alone with his wife as per specific conditions and controls. He said, “The philosophy of the family home is based on the establishment of a hotel for inmates within the walls of the prison and with all necessary facilities for open family day visits in order for inmates to meet their first-degree relatives and with the aim of preserving familial and social aspects.”

Four entities handling the project are:

1. The Kuwait Association for Abstinent Families.

2. The Ministry of Social Affairs.

3. The Ministry of Interior.

4. The General Secretariat of Awqaf

Al-Mubarak said, “Fatwa No. 157/2000 issued by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs endorsed the conjugal visit project based on its compatibility with the principles of Islamic law and humanitarian rules.” He stressed that the project aims to achieve the human aspects, work on directing the behavior of inmates, and reduce the anomalous practices of some inmates, adding that it also effectively contributes to preserving the cohesion of families.

Al-Mubarak thanked the undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, who encouraged the start of the construction of the family home for inmates of the General Administration of Correctional Institutions, and for supporting the nomination of the Kuwait Society for Abstinent Families. He praised the role of the Deputy Secretary General of Endowment Banks in the Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation Mansour Al-Saqabi for his support of the idea of establishing a family home for inmates of the General Administration of Correctional Institutions.

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