Some 50 prisoners held in Saudi jails were given leave to complete the Hajj this year along with their families, the General Directorate of Prisons revealed.
This comes as part of a reform campaign to help rehabilitate prisoners. The inmates were not distinguished from other pilgrims and had no restrictions on their movement to insure they could not be identified. Prison officers and guards accompanied them during the pilgrimage.
Bandar Bin Ali Al-Kharmi, director of relations and information at the General Directorate of Prisons, said the main objective of the program is to rehabilitate, reintegrate and motivate prisoners.
He added, “We found the optimal program is through performing the Hajj accompanied by their loved ones.”
The Prisons Directorate seeks to expand the number of beneficiaries during the coming Hajj seasons.
The Hajj Prisoners’ Campaign is part of the “Thiqa” program to rehabilitate prisoner before their release, it includes efforts to find employment or the appropriate training programs for inmates upon their release.