No cash, no problems!

Inside a prison, cash can be a dangerous asset. Prisoners carrying cash can be exposed to threats, violence and theft. This is why many correctional authorities around the world try to minimize the circulation of cash money in their correction and rehabilitation facilities. The absence of cash hampers the risk of extortion and prevents gambling and corruption. No cash simply means less problems!

The solution is called cashless systems. These systems are based on a ‘credit card type’ payment method and offer a more secure environment for the prisoners and enable unified procedures and tighter control of financial transactions inside the prison and to and from the outside world. Additionally, in Palestine, cashless systems will contribute to compliance with the Prison Law, which requires prisons to be safe for prisoners and prison staff.

A cashless system for Palestine
Consequently, the Correction and Rehabilitation Centers Department (CRCD) plans to implement cashless systems in the Palestinian Correction and Rehabilitation Centers. To enable the planning process, the Mission’s Penitentiary Adviser Lars Widholm, supported by visiting experts from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, has organized a four-day workshop for 10 officers from the Palestinian Civil Police and the CRCD. The purpose of the workshop, which was held in Ramallah from 11 to 14 February 2019, was to form operational requirements for the implementation of cashless systems and to continue developing Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) to support the implementation.

Extremely active and engaging
“Our workshop included a mix of presentations, sharing of practical experiences and interactive discussions. We had presentations of cashless systems in Sweden and other European countries followed by work with process diagrams. The participants used a current SOP as a starting point and listed all thinkable financial transactions to further develop the SOP. Our participants were extremely active and engaging; they raised many relevant questions and initiated many fruitful discussions”, concluded EUPOL COPPS Penitentiary Adviser Lars Widholm after the workshop.

Top Photo: The two visiting experts from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, Mr Andreas Fallstrom (left) and Mr Mikael Odengrund, explained the cashless systems used in Swedish correctional facilities and shared their hands-on implementation experience.
Bottom Photo 1: Ten Palestinian officers from the Police and the Correction and Rehabilitation Centers Department attended the Cashless Systems for Prisons Seminar in Ramallah.
Bottom Photo 2: Head of the CRCD, Colonel Miqdad Sulaiman (centre); CRCD Research and Program Director, Colonel Sofian Omareya (right) and, CRCD Deputy Director, Colonel Abduljabbar Ahmad Muhammad Tafesh (left) were among the workshop participants.