Interior Minister Nouahad al-Mashnouq revealed on Tuesday that the rehabilitation of Roumieh prison will kick start next week, describing it as a first step in the implementation of his reform plan.
“This is the practical stage and we will not begin to construct the new facility now,” Mashnouq told reporters after a meeting with a delegation from the Bankers' Association, headed by its chief Francois Bassil.
Mashnouq hailed the association for its financial grant to rehabilitate the facility, praising it for assuming a “national responsibility.”
Media reports had said that the interior minister had established a two-stage plan to resolve the situation at Roumieh prison and improve the conditions of the inmates.
Roumieh, the oldest and largest of Lebanon's overcrowded prisons, has witnessed sporadic prison breaks in recent years and escalating riots over the past months as inmates living in poor conditions demand better treatment.
Corruption, negligence and the maltreatment of inmates are wide spread at Roumieh prison as some inmates have access to cellphone, internet connection and soft arms.
During the first stage of the plan set by Mashnouq, the minister seeks to equip a new facility near the prison to accommodate around 700 to 1,000 inmate.
The first stage reportedly requires three months to be implemented.
The second stage, which needs around a year to be accomplished, will be the establishment of a new facility for dangerous prisoners, who will have a separate court room.
The cost of the second stage will reportedly reach 40 million dollars.
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