SRINAGAR: In an effort to improve prison security and streamline prison administration at J&K and elsewhere in the country, the Union Home Ministry has announced a series of measures which involve the establishment of a effective jamming system to prevent the use of cell phones by inmates. .
The MHA also plans to separate first-time offenders from criminals to avoid confusion and insists on steps to be taken to ensure that prisons do not become a “breeding ground for anti-national activities”.
A letter issued by the MHA was forwarded to the Principal Secretary of the Interior (J&K), other states/UTs and the DG prions of J&K and other UTs, a copy of which is available from the news agency – Kashmir News Observer (KNO), reads that as part of the continuous process of sharing guidance with States and UTs, to strengthen prison administration and ensure prison security, etc., the following suggestions should be implemented .
“Medical facilities in prison hospitals/clinics can be strengthened and improved so as to reduce the need to refer prisoners out of the prison complex,” the letter states, adding that “psychological assessment of prisoners by health professionals Competent health workers can be encouraged to reduce depression in prisoners and give them a positive outlook on life.
The letter further states that the assessment of inmates by psychologists and correctional experts can be carried out whenever necessary to study the stress and behavioral problems of inmates and that appropriate programs can be prescribed for them.
“Prison staff can be encouraged to use innovative methods for better prison administration and can also benefit from appropriate further training in this regard. Non-habitual criminals among prisoners should be trained to train other prisoners,” the letter said. “State governments and prison authorities should take effective measures to prevent prisons from becoming a breeding ground for anti-national activities, for which regular inspection of prisons can be carried out. Inmates can also be motivated to leave the life of crime behind and become responsible citizens of the nation.
To discourage complacency and corrupt practices in prisons, the letter states that prison staff can be replaced on a regular basis. Inter-prison (not intra-prison) transfer of staff every two years is considered desirable.
“Unnecessary movement of prison staff in and out of the prison should be effectively restricted and controlled, for which proper entry and exit records of prison staff can be kept. The structure of the prison and the perimeter wall of all prisons can be inspected and where possible it can be ensured that the distance between the outer wall and the prison ward/complex wall is designed in such a way that throwing incidents contraband from outside the prison is not possible.
The letter emphasizes that effective jamming solutions with the use of modern technological advances can be assured to “restrict illegal access/use of cell phones by inmates.”
“First-time offenders and repeat offenders may be separated and should be housed in separate prison wards/complexes to ensure that repeat offenders are not able to negatively influence first-time offenders,” the letter states, adding that the role of NGOs dealing with prisons can be checked periodically—(KNO)
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