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Female Inmates in Afghanistan, Part II

NCJ Number
Corrections Compendium Volume: 32 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2007 Pages: 32-34
Gary Hill
Date Published
September 2007
3 pages
This article (the second of a two-part series) provides an assessment of the situation of female inmates in Afghanistan with excerpts of the 2007 United Nations report, Afghanistan: Female Prisoners and Their Social Reintegration.
At the beginning of 2007, fewer than 270 of the 9,600 adults and juveniles in Afghan prisons and detention centers were female. The majority reside in Pul-e Charki prison. At the end of 2006, there were 69 female inmates and 43 children, 12 of whom were born in prison. Half of the women incarcerated in Afghanistan are there for crimes that most nations do not recognize. A large number of the other half may not even be guilty, having been imprisoned either because they have had no legal assistance, have been used or framed, forced to confess, or because they were with their fiancé or husband when the offense was committed. Women interviewed in 2006 complained of the lack of adequate and quality food. Some women receive food from their families. Hygiene was considered poor, and at the time of the interviews, women complained about the lack of a heating system. Five days a week, the Afghan Women’s Educational Center provides vocational training and education classes. By law, women are allowed to keep their children with them in prison up to age 3. Postrelease support for female inmates is problematic due to both the social and economic barriers faced by Afghanistan women. Many women are rejected from their homes for the shame they brought to their family members. Today, with the help of the United Nations, individual nations and a number of international and national organizations, work is under way to help improve the conditions of the women within the prisons. Commissioned by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this brief report provides an assessment of the situation of female inmates in Afghanistan. 3 endnotes, 2 references