While it is commonplace for people to fill up feedback forms at the time of exit interviews while leaving jobs or after having meals at a restaurant, in a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Tihar Central Jail here has started the system of taking feedbacks from its prisoners, once when they get inside the jail and once when they exit.
The initiative, aimed at improving facilities in the jail, was implemented about a month ago.
“Feedback forms are a good way of taking the opinion of prisoners for improving facilities inside the jail. We have started this practice of giving a form to the prisoners twice: once when they come in, so that we can know what are their hobbies or how educated they are for enrolling them in a vocational activity likewise; and the second time when they leave the prison, to get an opinion about existing facilities,” Tihar Jail spokesperson Sunil Gupta told The Hindu.
“Almost 200 people are brought into or released from the jail every day. In the past one month, we gave feedback forms to all those prisoners and have received various suggestions and complaints from them,” added Mr. Gupta.
Sharing some of the interesting feedbacks, Mr. Gupta said: “One prisoner made a mention about a jail staff who was extremely abusive with the prisoners. We took action on his complaint and suspended the staff member. Another prisoner at the time of entry inside the jail wrote that bidis should be allowed inside. We rejected his suggestion because intoxicants are not allowed in the jail. Another prisoner requested that home-cooked food should be allowed in jail but we cannot allow it, so we rejected the suggestion.”
“Some good suggestions have also come up through the appraisal system. One prisoner while exiting the jail suggested that there should be a fixed time for meditation for all prisoners across different wards. We took his suggestion positively and now we hold a meditation class at a fixed time for all the prisoners of a particular jail. Earlier different wards went to mediate at different times,” said another jail officer.
The feedback forms are also helping the jail authorities in tackling the menace inside the jail. One prisoner in his form wrote that his fellow inmates used to burn tea leaf and inhale it as an intoxicant and create nuisance later.After reading his form, the jail authorities stopped giving tea leaves to the inmates and have started keeping a check on any similar activity.
In the near future, the authorities are planning to introduce more such positive reforms inside the jail through the feedback system.