Radio, TV, library and computer labs provided in jails

Alexander Jacob, Additional Director General of Police (Prisons), has said that the number of women sentenced to jail terms has come down appreciably. “This is an indication of a positive social change,” he said at the Jail Day celebrations here on Wednesday.

Mr. Jacob said that there were 571 women in 2001 serving prison terms in the State. The figure is 162 now. He said that reforms implemented in the past five years had brought about revolutionary changes in State's prisons. Most significantly, overcrowding could be brought down.

“Prisons in the State can accommodate 7,000 convicts. There are now 6,200 inmates in various jails. All women lodged in jails have been provided with cots. In the second phase of reforms, cots will be provided to all the inmates of the two open jails in the State. In the third phase this will extended to the central prisons and in the fourth phase to the district jails,” he said.

Mr. Jacob said that healthy meals were being served to the inmates. Fish and meat were included in the menu. The allocation for meals at the jails touched Rs.10 crore in 2010.

Wages for the inmates had also been hiked. In the jails of the State it was Rs.69 a day for a person and in open jails, Rs.117. Half the wages was being sent promptly to the family of the inmates. For the children of those serving life sentences, Rs.500 was sent every month if the child was in school and Rs.1,000 for those above Class X. The allocation for this purpose was Rs.2 crore.

“FM radio, TV, library and computer labs have been provided in jails. There is a tie-up with IGNOU to help those who want to pursue studies. He said that 125 graduates were serving term in various jails in the State. One of them is attempting a Ph.D. While only 12 per of the those released return to jails, from among those undergoing life sentence hardly anyone returns. That is a good sign,” he said.