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Female prisoners get jobs training

Female prisoners get jobs training

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Women sit in the yard of Prey Sar Prison earlier this year. A garment factory training programme is set to open soon within the facility.

... after they get released they will have skills that they can use to find a job."

A RECENTLY launched garment vocational training programme in Prey Sar prison is expected to minimise the prospects of female criminal recidivism and simultaneously earn revenue for the Interior Ministry, officials said Tuesday.

Inmates from Correctional Centre 2, which houses women and children, first began participating in the programme last month, said CC2 chief Chat Sineang.

“These women can make a profit for themselves, and after they get released they will have vocational skills that they can use to find a job,” he said.

He said roughly 200 women were involved in the programme, which primarily involves sewing garments at an on-site factory.

The Interior Ministry has been earning between 200,000 riels (roughly US$48) and 500,000 riels per day from the products the women produce, he said, adding that the women themselves have been receiving about 20 percent of the revenue.

“The rest is distributed between the prison’s general department, Prey Sar’s guards and staff, and prison funds to be invested in other projects,” he said. “The remaining 10 percent is set aside for bonuses for the best workers.”

The construction of the factory cost about $20,000, and was subsidised by the Interior Ministry’s Prisons Department, as well as the Cambodia Criminal Justice Assistance Project, Chat Sineang said.

A CCJAP spokesman who declined to be named said the factory was the first rehabilitation project in Cambodia set up specifically for female inmates.

There were 627 women living in 18 of Cambodia’s 26 prisons at the end of 2008, according to a March 2009 report by the rights group Licadho on conditions facing female inmates. Most of the women were charged with human trafficking, drug trafficking and killings related to domestic violence and robberies, according to the report.

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