The district jail here will soon produce certificate-holders in professional skills such as aluminium fabrication and computer application.

Jail authorities say that instead of languishing in cells, short-term convicts and remand prisoners here can now learn a few things that will make their rehabilitation prospects a lot better once they are out.

The course on aluminium fabrication, which is the “first of its kind” for jail inmates in the State, will be launched on Thursday, while the programme on computer application started on Tuesday.

As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, G-TEC Education, a private computer education firm, is sponsoring the course in computer application while the programme in aluminium fabrication is being arranged in collaboration with Canara Bank, said T. Rajesh Kumar, Welfare Officer at the district jail here.

The trainers and training materials for the month-long computer course would be provided by the sponsor while the practical sessions would be held at the computer lab at the jail, said Mr. Kumar. Classes would be held in two-hour sessions on alternate days.

Opening the first batch of computer certificate course consisting of 20 inmates, including a native of Orissa, Sivadas K. Thaiparambil, DIG Prisons (North Zone) said the initiative was part of a key paradigm shift in the way prisons were looked at. “From their past status as mere detention centres, jails are fast evolving to be correctional facilities for the detainees,” said Mr. Thaiparambil, adding that training in professional skills such as computer application and interior decoration would increase their rehabilitation prospects manifold once they completed their sentence.

Since the district jails mostly kept only short-term convicts under their custody, there was a possibility of inmates moving out before their course was completed. In case a remand prisoner was going out on bail midway of the course, the sponsoring firm would arrange for the completion of his course at a centre convenient for both the parties. “The sponsors have also promised placement assistance for those who successfully complete the course,” said the welfare officer.

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