14 inmates to be shifted soon

After a delay of more than six months, 14 prisoners at the Women’s Jail at Attakkulangara will be officially shifted to a new Open Prison for Women at Poojappura on May 1.

Though the State’s first open prison for women was inaugurated in October last, the officials had said the prisoners would have to wait another six months as the construction work was not complete.

However, now it is learnt that the officials have allotted a different building from the one on the premises of the State Institute of Correctional Administration (SICA) at Poojappura, which was inaugurated earlier.

Alexander Jacob, Director General of Police (DGP), Prisons, told The Hindu that the new building was assigned to reduce the time lag in shifting the prisoners.

“It would take another six months to complete the work of the proposed building, whereas this one is nearing completion. Hence it was decided to allot the barracks used formerly by jail warden trainees adjacent to the Central Jail premises for the women’s open prison. Moreover, the former building can house 256 inmates, and at present there were only 14 prisoners who are eligible to be in open prison,” he said.

Women inmates of the three prisons in the State would be shifted to the new open prison in a months’ time. The privileges of these inmates would include a daily wage of up to Rs.117; 15 days of additional home leave; and lesser restriction for visits by relatives. Those who have completed at least three years in other prisons and satisfy certain criteria listed by a selection committee would be shifted to the open prison.

A. Nazeera Beevi, Superintendent of women’s jail, Attakkulangara, told The Hindu that the kind of authority and the degree of freedom would be different from those of the ordinary prisons and would largely depend on the consensus among the inmates.