Women are increasingly queuing up to go to the Kajang Prison (women's wing) in Malaysia, which has opened spa and salon services.
Since it opened its doors to the public last December, scores of women have been regular visitors to the Kajang Prison spa and salon, especially on weekends when it becomes very difficult to get an appointment.
The spa authorities say that the purpose behind starting the spa was to teach skills to women prisoners, some of them foreigners, who were ironically thrown behind bars for working illegally in beauty and massage parlors.
Warder Corporal Rahmah Zawawi, who has been attached with the prison for the past 22 years, revealed that watching the success of the spa and salon training, some private beauty parlour owners even inquired whether they could hire the prisoners. But we had to turn them down as they are only allowed to work within the prison premises," New Strait-Times Online quoted Rahmah as saying.
According to Rahmah, most of the women working at the prison spa and salon were those serving jail terms of six months or less.
"Currently, seven girls are working in the salon and all of them are Indonesians. They are in jail because they did not have valid travel or work documents. We don't allow those with dangerous criminal records to work here," Rahmah said.
She further said that apart from the quality of services provided at the spa, its cheaper rates also attracted women.
"Tell me where can you get a sauna, scrub and facial for only RM85?" she asked.
The services are only open to women clients.
"All they have to do is inform the guard that they have an appointment with us and drive straight in," Rahmah said of her women clients.
The prisoners are trained by warders who have substantial knowledge in the beauty business.
The training is a continuous affair because it is provided only to short-term prisoners, and the "staff" turnover is high.
"We don't mind that we keep training and training prisoners all the time. This gives the women a chance to start a new life when they get out," Rahmah said.