Kerala

Prisoners to interact with family online

With restrictions imposed on relatives visiting prisoners in jails in the wake of COVID-19, the Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services Department has given permission to jail authorities to allow prisoners to interact with their kin via videoconferencing.

Director General of Prisons Rishi Raj Singh issued a circular to prison superintendents to arrange meetings through videoconferencing using applications such as WhatsApp on a trial basis for a period of three months.

“The facility is being made available in view of the curbs in place following the pandemic outbreak. Once the disease is curtailed, relatives can directly meet prisoners,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu. The new system has been arranged in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Besides, other States too have implemented such facilities, he said.

“Even prisoners are under stress now. Allowing them to speak to their parents and wife or husband, will provide them some relief,” he said. At present, trial of prisoners in courts is conducted via videoconferencing.

As per the directive, prisoners will be allowed to interact with persons, which can be their parents, husband or wife, children, brother, sister, and nephew. Prisoners will have to apply a day prior to making the call. The meeting will be allowed twice a week for five minutes.

Jail authorities have been instructed to maintain a register to enter details of the contacts and mobile phones, including SIM details. The prisoners will be allowed to contact only the relatives registered. The new system will also help avoid problems of visitors handing over illicit products to prisoners.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2020 7:07:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/prisoners-to-interact-with-family-online/article32154934.ece

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