Majority of the eight telephone booths will be put up at tower block and CP block besides one each in prison hospital and in the high security block, writes R.Rajaram

Measures for commissioning landline telephone facility at Tiruchi Central Prison to benefit the inmates have reached the final stage now. Telephone instruments and accessories required for installation and commissioning have already been provided to the prison that accommodates convicts, under-trials and remand prisoners.

Majority of the eight telephone booths sanctioned for Tiruchi prison will be put up at tower block and CP block besides one each in prison hospital and in the high security block. The ELCOT (Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited), a Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking, has been entrusted with the task of installing the telephone booths and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited will be the service provider.

The work of laying cables will start soon and we are targeting to complete them in a week or latest by 10 days for commissioning the facility, say prison authorities.

The telephone booths are being established to enable inmates speak to their near and dear ones and to their legal counsels, although for a restricted time duration every month. No calls will be allowed to be made to outsiders.

Tiruchi prison accommodates around 700 convicts serving lengthy terms and the facility is expected to benefit them more than those falling under the under-trial and remand prisoner categories.

To thwart any misuse of the facility, the inmates obtaining telephone cards for making calls, will be asked to furnish the numbers they wish to contact well in advance to the jail authorities.

Prison officials will in turn cross check to ensure whether the number given to them is actually that of the near one of the inmate.

The mechanism has been designed in such a way that the eight booths will be connected to the prison control room. The entire conversation will be recorded and the time duration of every call closely monitored.

The inmate will not be in a position to speak beyond the permitted time duration as the call will get automatically snapped, say the authorities. The charges for every call will be deducted from the prisoner’s cash property.

The facility will greatly benefit the inmates as they could now get in touch with their family members or near ones regularly and feel energized, says a senior prison official.

Similar facility will also be provided to the Special Prison for Women in Tiruchi and Borstal School in Pudukottai accommodating convicted adolescent offenders.