Prison department embarking on ambitious project
In a bid to create employment for well-behaving inmates and generate revenue for the State, the Tamil Nadu Prison Department, in association with the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), is embarking on an ambitious project to operate petrol retail outlets closer to the central prison complexes.
According to police sources, Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) J.K. Tripathy mooted this concept and was working out the modalities with IOCL officials.
Many of the central prisons are located along the highways and the proposed petrol outlets are expected to have a good business.
The prison department has 12 central prisons located across the State, including in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Madurai.
The sources said the proposal would be finalised soon and after getting the consent of the government, civil works for the construction of the outlets would begin in a phased manner.
The department has identified prisoners serving long-term sentence with good conduct and no tendency to escape for operating the outlets. Besides payments to prisoners, the revenue generated would be remitted to the government’s account.
Most of the products manufactured by several industrial units in prisons are largely consumed by government departments.
Some of the products at present reach the public through ‘Prison Bazaar.’
The objective of creating more industries and services is to ensure that inmates get a chance to learn new jobs and earn while serving their sentence. This will also make them employable on release from prisons and help them join the society’s mainstream workforce.