Jordan’s Five Star Jail For VIPs

An interesting article I read last week on a new and elite prison in Jordan…

The town of Salhoub, north of the capital Amman, is now home to a ‘luxurious’ prison facility that overlooks one of the most famous pine forests now threatened with extinction. The prison, which houses 60 inmates, was built exclusively for officials, businessmen, and public figures sentenced to jail on criminal or ethical charges. The Salhoub prison made headlines when it received several famous figures that were found guilty by the State Security Court in the Jordan Petroleum Refinery corruption case. The newcomers included three former officials and a businessman; all were charged with bribery and abuse of power and public office.

The government decided to allocate the separate facility for public figures to protect them from possible life-threatening clashes with ordinary inmates in general prisons facilities.

…The prison is modeled after five-star hotels as far as decorations and facilities are concerned, but with accordance to the local and international security standards as Salhoub prison is surrounded with an electric fence and is heavily guarded. On the other hand, other facilities are over-crowded and suffer from deteriorating health services and limited or lack of entertainment activities. [source]

I admit, when I first read it, I honestly thought it was a joke. Upon further reflection, it doesn’t seem to be. Worse yet, it didn’t really surprise me. That may be the worst part about such stories: that they now cease to surprise us.

The people who have likely perpetrated the worst crime in the Kingdom, the kind of crime that affect millions of people, the kind of crime that takes money directly from the pockets of people, the kind of crime that is not limited to one person – these people are now held in a five-star jail? If this place has an Internet connection and a phone line I can safely assume they’re probably conducting business as usual.

If the argument is concerning their safety, why all the luxury? Why not stick them in an ordinary jail and just quarantine them off from the other inmates who seek to harm them (who are part of the 99% of the population that would like to do just that)? Why build a luxurious facility?

Moreover, with these people responsible for committing some of the worst acts visited upon the Jordanian public, acts that include swindling and corruption that ranks in the millions – why are the same people they robbed, the ordinary tax-paying Jordanian, having to pay for their imprisonment in such luxury? Is that not the ultimate irony of the whole story?

Sigh, where are we heading? Do we not have enough divides between the rich and the poor that now even rich prisoners receive a higher standard of services than the poor ones?

UPDATE: As some may have already pointed out here and elsewhere, the photo provided by the source is indeed not of the prison itself (which isn’t great journalism on their part). Unfortunately, while the visual isn’t real, the story continues to be.


  • For many years my home country has had what we call “country club prisons” to house what they call “white collar criminals”…the very ones who, as you pointed out, have committed crimes that affect millions of people. When the prisons came to light there was some outrage, but as you might imagine the sheeple were quickly subdued and now those prisons are accepted as easily as a Hilton Hotel. I am beginning to believe the human race is beyond redemption.

  • wow.. even in jail there is a “VIP”! makes the VIP ppl want to commit a crime. its like checking in a hotel or somehing!

    Dinyaaaaa :S

  • Why do we have a five star jail to begin with? Because we’re a circus, an act of visual illusion is played to awe us every day, and like children; we drool with astonishment and praise the system for being “fair and strict, even with the fat cats” while in fact, the fatter cats are running the whole show. Those imprisoned for embezzlement will have better living conditions than 95% of Jordanians while they’re serving time, and then go out and live better than 99.999% of Jordanians, because corruption isn’t an exception, it’s rule. The exception is punishment, even if it’s in a five star jail.

  • I also read about this in Arabic but I thought it was just a joke since I didn’t hear more about it in the Jordanian media. I knew from Egyptian friends that the Egyptian Millionaire convicted in killing the Lebanese singer has a five star cell including full amenities. But never imagined the level of corruption in Jordan could reach that level. Is the picture provided by the source is for this luxurious Jordanian facility in mind?
    Man, there is even favoritism among criminals.

  • there was a sketch in s2 of chappelle show where he imagines if regular criminals undergo the white collar criminal treatment and vice versa

  • A five star jail is not acceptable.. but how do we know the truth here? and how much different is it really from other jails? the pic itself speaks volume about trusting the source… why are you keeping it up here?

  • Only 60 beds? Considering the amount of corruption,the number of consecutive ministers we have (every year there is a new ministry) we need a larger facility

    My father was in detention because someone swore intentionally wrongfully on the Quran just to see him detained,his business partner,over a paid cheuqe of 250JD,dad didn’t take a receipt or a proof,the judge knew the truth&said,cases like these,the law makes me sick,you are a dishonest person,I’ll leave you to God’s judgment. He just wanted to see him detained with low lives

    Who gets to be put in these VIP prisons? What is the criteria? Or the detainee will have to pay for the stay? I mean they make you choose,either the free facilities,or the paid ones?

    Many respectable,decent,honest,well known people are detained with thugs,criminal,physchos,they are detained over technicalities,political issues,administrative issues,I don’t think it’s fair to jail someone who could not pay 1000JD on time,with someone who stabbed,killed,stole.

    Makes you wonder, who ever came up with the idea from the government was thinking:Shit,maybe someday I’ll go to jail,so I better come up with this idea,so I go to jail in style ;),this is called planning ahead

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