Women's Health in Kazakhstan's Prisons
This short film features released female prisoners and their account of problems of rehabilitation in Kazakhstan. Each woman used to have problems with drugs, alcohol and prison.
On release, women usually have to spend a lot of time getting their papers in order again and searching for work. One of these women, Taisiya, established a rehabilitation centre, where she helps and supports women like her. Taisiya has two rehabilitation centres for women, and she helps them with documents, drug and alcohol dependence, AIDS and HIV.
Unfortunately many prisoners return to prison: according to statistics, 43 % of 53,000 ex-prisoners are recidivists. According to Saule Mektepbayeva, Regional Director of Penal Reform International Central Asia, social work with prisoners must start 6 months to a year before release. The penal system must resolve questions of how the person will be released, where they will live, and problems with money, documents and work.
Finding work is a huge issue, as not all employers want to hire ex-prisoners. There are also problems with health: HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are rife in prison, and when prisoners are released they may not be known about so do not receive appropriate treatment, meaning they risk spreading the disease in the wider community.
Rehabilitation centres help ex-prisoners to gain not only practical and emotional support, but also self-belief.
Duration 2 mins 34