To end complaints of smuggling of mobile phones, SIM cards, batteries and chargers into the prison, the prison administration is gearing up to install eight Public Call Offices inside the Coimbatore Central Prison before the end of December.
Superintendent of central prison S. Rajendran said that it was an initiative of the Prison Department as in the lines of neighbouring States to have PCOs with restrictions on the number of calls, duration and numbers to which calls can be made by a prisoner.
The work is being executed by ELCOT (Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu) and the officials had already completed the inspection of the Central Prison to identify suitable places to install the PCOs.
The project is in its final stages with installation and commissioning alone pending.
Mr.Rajendran said that every prisoner would be asked to register three numbers with the Prison Department, which could be that of relatives, family members, friends and lawyers.
Prisoners would be eligible to make three calls with 30 minutes duration a month and calls to the chosen numbers would be allowed after verification.
Every prisoner would be given a bio-metric card, a pre-requisite for using the facility.
With regard to convicts, the call charges as applicable would be deducted from the Prisoner’s Cash Property, which is used to deposit the wages earned by the prisoner by working in various units of the prison while serving the sentence.
For under trials and remand prisoners, cash found in their possession while arresting or the money sent by their family members would be the PCP.
Charges incurred in terms of the calls made every month would be deducted from therein.
The Tamil Nadu Prison Department on completion of the study of the system prevalent in Karnataka and Kerala was on the job of improvising it for eliminating the shortfalls.
In all likelihood, the prison inmates would be able to use the PCOs from January 2013.