Afghani prison officials visit South Carolina prisons

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News 12 at 6 o'clock; June 25, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. --- A group of eight Afghanistan prison officials are in the state, touring maximum security prisons on a fact-finding mission.

They were at the Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center on Wednesday afternoon, along with three interpreters on coalition ground, trying to learn as much as possible about what goes on behind the prison walls.

"They're providing support and help to the Afghan government to rebuild and rehabilitate to the sectors of administration," says General Mohammad Qais Fasihi.

One way to do that is by writing down and trying to open the door to an improved prison system in Afghanistan.

"We are here to look and see every single area and to have the experiences to have it back in Afghanistan that way we will be having the help from the US," says General Fasihi.

It's a maximum security prison which the group saw; and they saw it all: from the bus, to the pat down, to the fingerprinting, to the medical room, and so much more.

"We'll be going back to Afghanistan and we'll be having our own system or to have at least a better system and standards in Afghanistan," says the General.

One big thing they're here looking at is how to improve infrastructure and the whole system, from start to finish.

"We'll be having their ideas and get to use the experiences they have got in the South Carolina Prison System and we'll be having it back with us in Afghanistan," says Fasihi.

Now, they'll be taking a closer look at how everyone at the facility interacts with each other.

"How is the behavior with the correction officers, with the prisoners, with the detainees and whoever is in the prison," says the General.

South Carolina was chosen by US officials as the state the 8 men would visit. This is the second time people from Afghanistan have been to South Carolina to tour the prison system. We're also told, Iraqis were here in South Carolina looking at the system previously.

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