“Electronic surveillance inside the prison complex for constant monitoring of the activities of inmates”

In the wake of the death of Ram Singh, the main accused in the Vasant Vihar gang-rape case, the Tihar Jail authorities have decided to install 250 closed-circuit television cameras to keep a round-the-clock watch on the inmates.

During the first phase, the cameras would be installed inside the Tihar Central Jail and the Rohini Jail. “Earlier the CCTVs were installed along the periphery and entrance/exit points of the jail premises. However, following the death of the gang-rape accused, it has now been decided to introduce electronic surveillance inside the prison complex for constant monitoring of the activities of inmates,” said an official.

It is learnt that the surveillance system will have the facility to archive the video footage for a certain period for the purpose of investigations, if required. Apart from use of technology, jail officials plan to introduce more vocational courses for the inmates. This, the officials believe, will help them stand on their feet once they are out of jail and would also provide them a source of earning within the confines of the prison.

“Directions have been issued to the jail staff to keep the inmates involved in various activities throughout the day, which would keep them away from distressing thoughts. We already have yoga and meditation courses for the inmates, who will be encouraged to participate in these programmes for their personality growth. It also plays a key role in keeping them mentally fit,” said the official, adding that jail personnel were also participating in such courses.

While the jail authorities are yet to finalise the measures to be taken in view of Ram Singh’s death, former Director-General (Delhi Prisons) Kiran Bedi has suggested an institutionalised arrangement with psychology departments of educational institutions and inclusion of mental health experts in various ways, including opportunities for research, training, internship and even application of their skills while dealing with the inmates who require intervention.

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