How can we help people in jail for bad debts?


Madinah newspaper

During Ramadan, especially in the last days before Eid Al-Fitr, charity organizations race against time searching for generous people who may want to donate money to release people who are in jail because of bad debts. I thank all of these charity organizations and the people who work in them for the excellent work that they are doing.

However, I believe that paying off the debts of people who are in jail is a temporary solution. This is a long-lasting problem in our society in which people are jailed because of poorly managing their finances. I believe that the number of such people is quite large, although I do not have official statistics.

A small percentage of people are in debt because of bad planning, but most of them are forced to take out loans to pay for medical treatment, marriages or rent. Debts slowly begin accumulating and then reach such a level that people are unable to pay them back.

We need an honest study on why this has become a widespread phenomenon in our society and we need to develop programs to put an end to this problem or at least to limit it.

Putting a man who is in debt in jail is extremely painful, especially for the man’s family who will lose their guardian and protector. Therefore, I suggest we find an alternative to jail while ensuring that the debtor’s rights are not infringed upon.

I suggest establishing an organization that cares for people in debt and that can provide them with social and financial assistance. This should, of course, exclude those who are financially reckless. We also need to carry out field studies on this issue that is affecting our society.