Since 1995, WADI has supported prisoners by providing medical assistance and education programmes in order to encourage their reintegration into society. The programme focuses on juveniles and female prisoners. Iraqi law doesn’t protect women and children from imprisonment. Children can be imprisoned once they are 7 years old. Many women are imprisoned for being suspects of prostitution, or for revenging domestic violence and forced marriages.
In 1995, WADI conducted a successful campaign against capital punishment for women. Since then, WADI has supported prisoners in the women’s and youth prisons of Arbil and Suleymaniah. The youngsters and women participate in hairdressing and sewing workshops, handicraft and literacy courses as well as blacksmith workshops, English and computer courses. Women released from prison get assistance to open their own shops. WADI financed literacy classes, health care, workshops and libraries where prisoners can find books, newspapers and magazines.
In 1998, WADI started a large programme for men prisoners in Suleymaniah prison. Computer courses, carpentry and blacksmith workshops were organized, and literacy and English courses were offered. In 1999, WADI encouraged and supported the foundation of a cultural group called Horizon. Horizon publishes a newspaper in prison. In 2000, they published a book containing prisoners’ articles about issues concerning Kurdish public life.