Eight landline telephone booths set up for them

Inmates lodged in the Central Prison and the Special Prison for Women here can now make calls to their near and dear, thanks to the commissioning of landline telephone facility at both places.

Eight telephone booths have been set up inside the sprawling Tiruchi Central Prison that accommodates over 1,300 male inmates, including 650 convicts, while one booth has been opened at the Special Prison for Women.

The ELCOT (Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited) has established the booths with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited as service provider. The booths in Central Prison have been installed in tower block, CP block, hospital, and high security blocks.

About 10 prisoners used the facility on Monday and 30 of them on Tuesday, prison authorities said.

All the eight booths are connected to the prison control room and the inmates’ phone conversation were recorded, a senior prison official said. BSNL cards would be provided to those wanting to make calls and call charges would be deducted from the prisoners’ cash property.

Inmates would be permitted to make calls only to their family members and legal counsels three times in a month including one Sunday.

The inmates have to furnish three phone numbers, which they would want to call, well in advance to the jail authorities who would verify them through intelligence personnel.

The call time would be between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for 10 minutes after which it would get disconnected automatically. The facility would help reduce prisoners’ stress levels and their feeling of loneliness, the official said.

Similar facility has also been provided at the Borstal School in Pudukottai that accommodates adolescent offenders between 18 and 25 years.