Minister inaugurates seminar on ‘correctional administration’
Thrissur: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said the government is envisaging a comprehensive amendment of jail rules.
He was addressing a two-day seminar on “Correctional administration”, organised by the Prisons Department, here on Saturday.
“Kerala is among the few States that have taken jail reforms seriously. The very first government in the State had taken measures in this direction. Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily had written to State Ministers recently urging them to bring down the number of remand prisoners. In Kerala, there are only 26 remand prisoners facing trial for more than three years. To bring down the number of remand prisoners, the judicial process should be fast. The world was shocked recently to know about a remand prisoner who had been lodged in a Sri Lankan jail for 50 years. He was accused of an offence when he was 30 years old. The man is 80 years now,” he said.
He observed that jails could function as centres for offender transformation only with the support of the public.
“Every inmate of a jail is not a convict. Nearly 50 per cent of the inmates are remand prisoners and those held in preventive detention. I myself was a prisoner during the Emergency under the controversial Maintenance of Internal Security Act,” he said.
Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA, presided. Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Alexander Jacob and Kerala Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor K.R. Viswambharan also spoke.
On Sunday, Madhava Somasundaram, head of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice in Manonmaniam Sundaranar University; Devayani Tuma of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences; and M.R. Ahmed, director of the Academy of Prisons and Correctional Administration, Vellore; will speak on ‘Correction administration: universal trends and recent techniques’, ‘Role of social work in correctional administration’ and ‘Governance of prisons and scope of reformation under existing prison laws’ respectively.