PRI’s Middle East and North Africa office held a two-day workshop on ‘Alternative sanctions to detention: prospects for and ways of promoting their application in Jordan’ this week by the Dead Sea.
Participating were representatives of media organisations in Jordan, audio-visual, print and electronic media, along with civil society organisations active in the field of penal reform, the Ministry of Justice , the Ministry of Social Development and the Department of Rehabilitation Centres.
The workshop was run as part of two PRI projects: ‘Towards an approach based on human rights in the administration of prisons: the protection of vulnerable groups’ funded by the Swedish Agency for International Development (SIDA), and ‘The human dimension in the reform of the juvenile justice system’, funded by the Dutch foreign ministry. The aim of the workshop was to introduce the concept of alternative sanctions, the social and economic benefits of their application, existing models, and the definition of the legal domestic and international framework governing their application.
The workshop also aimed to define the potential role of the media in the promotion of alternative sanctions and to come up with specific topics for media coverage. The cost of producing a media piece on the best topics at the end of the workshop will be covered by PRI MENA.
Discussions during the workshop centered on the cultural, social and economic characteristics of the Jordanian society and included a presentation by Taghreed Jaber, Regional Director of PRI’s Middle East and North Africa office on the definition, and types of alternative types of alternative sanctions available.
‘The success of the adoption of alternative sanctions depends on how convinced and ready is the community is, especially the victims and their families’, she said. ‘This makes the role of media a particularly delicate one when promoting the social and economic benefits of alternatives to imprisonment.’