The First National Conference ‘Towards a national strategy for the development of the Penitentiary System in Jordan’ organised by Penal Reform International MENA Office in cooperation with the Public Security Directorate / Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Centers took place on 8 and 9 April.
The conference was attended by over 350 participants including the Minister of Interior and Minister of Municipal Affairs Hussein Majali representing the Prime Minister of Jordan, by the Director of Public Security Lt. Gen. Tawfiq Tualbh ,and H.E Sharlōta Sparrow, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden in Jordan.
In his opening speech, the interior minister said that respect of for the humanity of detainees at correctional and rehabilitation centres in any society is a reflection of the country’s respect of the rule of law. It is also a necessary condition to ensure the success of penal policy aiming at the reintegration of prisoners into society, and to ensure they do not return to the path of crime.
Taghreed Jaber, PRI’s Regional Director in Ammanm, said that PRI seeks, through partnerships in more than ten Arab countries, to implement regional and national programmes that contribute to the development and the reform of the penitentiary system, by providing technical assistance, enhancing the professional capacity and competencies of individuals, and institution, and strengthening the cooperation and exchange of experiences at the regional and international levels.
Ambassador Sparrow noted that human rights are a high priority for Sweden’s foreign and domestic policy, and that Sweden attaches great importance to projects that aim to enhance human rights. She added that Sweden will work closely with its neighbouring countries for peace, development and human rights, through a constructive partnership and exchange of experiences and best practices.
The conference discussed the achievements of CRCs over the last few years, and the work needed in the future especially in the field of aftercare. It also focused on the role of partners to support the strategy of reform and rehabilitation, and the role of international and local partners, and the role of the private sector in supporting the capacity of correctional and rehabilitation centers in their aftercare project.
This conference is part of the cooperation agreement signed in January 2013 between Penal Reform International – MENA Office and The Department of Correctional and Rehabilitation Centers in Jordan, and as part of the regional project implemented by PRI MENA in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen.
This project, funded by the Swedish Agency for International Cooperation (SIDA), aims to promote humane and fare treatment of vulnerable groups within the criminal justice system in the Middle East and North Africa through: the implementation of human rights international standards; promoting and supporting reform in all places of detention, including ensuring respect for and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups; and encouraging the adoption of alternative sanctions to imprisonment.