Lebanon has 22 prisons administered by the Ministry of Interior. Prisons are seen as a mean to lock away persons who have derailed from good behavior in any manner, but the picture of a prison made to improve persons and change them for the better is definitely not the actual one. These prisons are not in line with international standards.  No mechanisms are in place to systematically recruit qualified staff or to monitor corruption, misbehavior and abuse of human rights. There are tens of cases of deaths in prison yearly.

 Some individual attempts to reform prisoners while they were still locked in have been mostly made at the Roumieh central prison, which includes about 5000 prisoners. They proved to be successful as they started educating the prisoners in computers, a school was opened for educating the illiterate persons, and several workshops (artistic, woodworks, car works, etc…) were opened to teach skills for the prisoners.

Alas, these attempts only took place at the Roumieh central prison, while other prisons and mostly women’s detention facilities, were not given such opportunities. There is only an individual hand-made embroidery project that was started in the Baabda prison for women, but it doesn’t go as far as to offer a real education to these women, as to enable them to receive professional training in order to find themselves a place in society upon their liberation.

The imprisoned migrants are one of the most needy factions:  they are mostly of Iraqi, Sudanese, ….. descent. They were imprisoned following a crime or illegal entry and stay. They are usually destitute, and missing even the basic needs. Therefore, they cannot afford any type of juridical or lawyer fee.

Industrial sewing factory at Baabda Prison for Women 

ASPF has started supplying the well-trained prisoners with paid work at their industrial sewing workshop, providing them with orders made by outside manufactures.

Several women, and mostly those who don't have anybody to rely on, are taking advantage of that program, in their willingness to become productive.

The women who are being released are immediately replaced by new ones, willing to learn a craft, a honest way to earn a living.

Bamboo Project

Bamboo Project is the successful Italian-funded crochet project that was started early february at the Baabda prison for women, as part of the women empowerment project initiated by ASPF.

The prisoners of the Baabda Prison for Women have eagerly followed the training, and have even gone farther, in expressing their own creativity, leading to the creation of beautifully colored summer hats, ideal for the beaches, poolside, and eveywhere under the sun.

Some hats are paired with assorted bags, in an very colorful collection.

Check the full collection

International Women Day at the Baabda prison for women

On the 100th anniversary of the International women day, ASPF has organized a theatrical event in cooperation with the actor Joe Kodeih, at the Baabda prison for women, in order to put some amusement in the life of the prisoners.

The Counsellor for prisons of the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Mrs. Diane Mecattaf, the representative of the Director General if the Internal Security Forces as well as the representative of the director of the Gendarmerie Major Moustapha Bedran were present at the event.

William Issa, President of ASPF, declared that this is the first of a series of events scheduled at the Baabda prison for women, in order to relieve the psychological pressures from the detained women.

The prisoners participated eagerly to the proposed exercices and the event ended with a cocktail. 

ASPF in the Baabda prison for women

ASPF, in cooperation with the Italian Embassy in Beirut, has finished all the installation related to the creation of a workshop in the Baabda prison for women, thus creating a space which main target is to empower women.

The workshop is actually hosting two training sessions, sewing as well as special italian crochet, to enable the women of perfoming a paid-for activity while in prison and to make them more productive, and self sufficient. 

At the end of the training sessions, which take place on a daily basis in the prison, the trainees will be able to perform industrial-level sewing and to take paid-for orders from lebanese manufactures.

Moreover, the crochet trainees will be producing their own line of products, that will be sold in limited quatities in specialized shops.

Beirut                   Mount Lebanon               North               South                 Bekaa 

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