Prison canteens revamped, fully computerised with biometric access

Inmates can now buy canteen articles only through biometric authentication such as fingerprint scan/smart card

Published - July 04, 2023 12:41 am IST - CHENNAI

The Department of Prisons and Correctional Services has revamped “Prisoners Cash Property” (PCP) canteens in all the central prisons and special prisons for women (SPW) throughout the State for many years.

The canteens sell soap, biscuits, tea, coffee, bun, toothpaste and brush, coconut oil, fruits, various snacks as well as meals on payment basis for the benefit of prisoners. Each “A class prisoner” is allowed to shop for up to ₹1,000 a week and each “B class prisoner” is allowed to make purchases for up to ₹750 a week from these canteens.

Amaresh Pujari, Director-General of Police, Prisons and Correctional Services, said that to remove the irregularities and to make the functioning of the canteen transparent, a project was initiated three months ago.

The project had been completed and the PCP canteen system had been revamped and computerised with biometric access features. Inmates can now buy canteen articles only through biometric authentication such as fingerprint scan/smart card. All sales and amount details are computerised, he said.

The items sold through PCP canteens and rates had been reduced and made uniform in all prisons throughout the State. Prisoners can know their weekly remaining limit balance and net balance any time.

All logs are stored in the system for reference. Reports of all PCP canteen activity can be viewed from the prison headquarters. All transactions of canteens will be compulsorily audited by the audit team of the prison concerned and by the audit team of the prison headquarters, said Mr. Pujari.

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