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Tue 19 Feb 2008 02:17 PM

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Bahraini criminals to work off jail terms

Bahrain gov't introduces community service scheme for convicted offenders in leiu of imprisonment.

Convicted criminals facing imprisonment or fines will have the option to work off their sentence, under a scheme to be introduced by the Bahrain government.

Bahraini judges can now impose community service orders on offenders sentenced to three months jail or less, or instead of fines, Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Offenders will be paid five Bahraini dinars ($13.30) an hour for their labour, but the wages will be used to pay fines or a financial penalty calculated on the basis of the jail term, the newspaper said.

Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Bahrain's minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, said offenders would help teach carpentry to the handicapped or elderly, and will also be given public maintenance, gardening and cleaning tasks.

A ministerial decree had been issued on the scheme, which lists the places and services offenders could be assigned to, he said.

The community service orders will be carried out in co-ordination with the Social Development, Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs and Labour ministries.

In recent years Bahrain has introduced a range of political and judicial reforms, including a high-profile series of amnesties which emptied the nation’s jails of prisoners in 1999.

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Amina 11 years ago

Well that's all nice but what about those people who deserves to spend time in the jail? The public deserve to feel safe from those people, don't you agree? And I think we think more of the offenders well being than those they offend. We need more protection than sending the convict to community services only.