Compassion is our heartbeat | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Compassion is our heartbeat

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood

‘Crime and Punishment’ are two ends of an evocative phrase which deals in the fallout of wrong moral judgement by people and its impact on society.

Since time immemorial, communities and societies the world over have dedicated time and effort to refine the process of judgement of crimes so that it serves two purposes: one being justice and redressal to the victim and another being rehabilitation of the person who has committed the crime and integrating him/her into society again.

Over time, the old draconian methods of high security lock-ups and solitary confinement have been phased out for most cases and replaced with methods that reflect the 21st century views on individual liberty, psychological analysis of crimes and criminal intent.

One highly effective but much-debated method which the Kingdom of Bahrain has adopted is the Open Prison system.

In short, it is a minimum security system where prisoners who are judged as low-risk to the community and whose crimes are not classified as dangerous, are made to spend the time they are sentenced.

The prisoners are made to reflect upon their choices, their mistakes and given counselling and advise on re-integrating with society through jobs and entrepreneurial schemes.

The adoption of this scheme represents a radical departure for Bahrain as a Middle Eastern country where we tend to go for rigorous punishment of any deviation.

It is nothing short of a revolutionary move away from the conventional legal punishment methods and will greatly enhance Bahrain’s standing as a country where compassion is at the heart of the legal system.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism