Why do we keep expats in prison before deporting them?

The cost of Imprisonment is too high: Crimes are committed all around the world and not only in Saudi Arabia. But some rules regarding crimes and prison time must be amended in order to lower the costs spent on prisons and also to protect the rights of people.

The problem is that the cost of punishing and reforming the prisoners lies on the government’s shoulders, therefore, more the prisoners the higher the cost. It is a global effort to dry up prisons in order to lower these costs. This can be done in a number of ways.

Prisoners not committing any serious crime: First of all, prisoners who haven’t committed a very serious crime must be doing more community work rather than doing prison time. Community work benefits both the prisoner and society whereas prison time only makes the costs go up.

The prisoners doing community work can be monitored using electronic bracelets which have proved quite effective in many parts of the world.

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Expatriates serving prison time before deportation: Another pressing issue is the expatriates serving prison time before being deported back to their homes. The number of such cases is shockingly very high.

The government needs to rethink this law. If the expatriate is eventually going to be deported and has no work left in Saudi Arabia then why is he even held in a prison at Saudi Arabia?

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Women serving prison after their sentence: Last is the women who are in prison even after serving their sentence only because their families have refused to accept them after prison.

This law is not only damaging the country in terms of cost on prisons but is also a violation of human rights. Furthermore, under prison regulations, no prisoner can be kept behind bars after serving their sentence.

The only reason why women are still in there after serving their sentences is due to some old traditions. The Ministry of Interior is making efforts to release the women once their sentence is served whether their families accept them or not.

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Women empowerment has brought many changes in the lives of the Saudi women. Women are now on the road to enjoying their legal and human rights and not on the mercy of a male guardian.

In the present era, injustice cannot be done in broad daylight and it should not happen with these women either. It is unjust to keep them in prisons, they must be freed and handed over to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development who must then take care of them.

Apart from this, awareness must be spread so that the human right organization takes step towards this matter. Many charity organizations will be willing to help these women but there is not enough awareness of this matter. Also, the Government will benefit from the prisons being cleared out. 

Source: Saudi Gazette

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.