Nagaland partially active in prison reformation
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 19 (EMN): The reformation and rehabilitation of offenders is the ultimate objective of the state administration.
To meet this objective, many states/union territories (UTs) under the direction and supervision of the central government have introduced a number of initiatives in the field of rehabilitation and welfare of prison inmates.
The central government through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is running various schemes not only for improving prison infrastructure with an emphasis on hygiene, but also for organising national as well as international conferences on correctional administration for sensitisation of prison staff.
The overall supervision and management of prisons is under the direct control of each state government or UT administrations.
Educating jail inmates not only provides a corrective approach to the psyche of the offender but also goes a long way in developing a responsive and respectful attitude towards the society.
As reported earlier, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report showed that among the 4,50,696 prisoners, the literacy profile showed that 1 36 167 (30.2%) prisoners were illiterate.
As part of the welfare schemes, 1,16,968 prisoners had been educated in various fields in the country during the year 2017.
Sadly, except for Assam and Mizoram, the other north-eastern states including Nagaland showed zero involvement towards imparting education to inmates.
Healthcare and sanitation: In healthcare and sanitation, 12 states/UTs have been actively involved. Among which, Nagaland was the only state in the Northeast region where health camps were organised on a regular basis for prisoners. In addition, a mini central jail association with Community Awareness Development (CAD) foundation had been set up to provide proper care among the inmates.
Vocational training: Various vocational trainings were provided to inmates during the year 2017. The details reveal that majority of the training in agricultural activities were imparted in Punjab (921) followed by Bihar (492). Among the 16 states/UTs involved towards providing vocational trainings in various professions, Nagaland has also been providing various training programmes in jails.
The trainings were on bamboo handicrafts, winter crops cultivations to meet the basic kitchen needs, introduction and training of detergent making, sericulture (silkworm rearing), making of vermin compost, making of vermin wash as a foliar spray for crops, tailoring and culinary training.
As many as 52 inmates were provided with tailoring training, 15 were provided with soap and phenyl making and 154 inmates were provided with other trainings, making it a total of 221.
The trainings of jail inmates in the vocational trades resulted in production of articles that had market value. But unfortunately, the value of sale proceeds and earnings produced by inmates showed Nagaland’s rank at the bottom with just 0.003% earnings.
Telangana reported the highest gross value of sale proceeds of INR 59.923 crore generated by inmates followed by Tamil Nadu with INR 56.834 crore during the year 2017.
Games and recreational activity: Under games and recreational activities provided for the inmates, 13 states were recorded, as per the NCRB report with Nagaland and Assam from the north-eastern region. In various Nagaland jails, recreational activities such as games and musical lessons were said to have been imparted by instructors ‘as music plays a vital role and provides opportunities to express feelings’.
Spiritual and cultural activity: Nagaland has also been actively involved in imparting spiritual and cultural activities along with 11 others states/UTs in the country, where ‘moral and spiritual counselling’ were organised in various jails as part of reformation measures.
Assistance to prisoners: According to the NCRB prison report, 1745 prisoners were provided with financial assistance on their release during the year 2017. 1,02,182 prisoners were given legal aid during the same year. Delhi reported the highest number of prisoners (42,750) who were given legal aid followed by Kerala (6795). Among the 12 states/UTs, Nagaland has also been actively involved by organising various legal camps in various jails.
Fifty-six inmates were provided with legal aid during the year 2017. The number of inmates who were paid wages on a daily basis include skilled (135), semi-skilled (125) and unskilled (115).
NGOs: Altogether, there were 1008 NGOs working exclusively for prison reforms during the year 2017 while 87,268 inmates were provided medical counselling and 74,035 inmates were given legal counselling by various NGOs in the country.
According to the report, an NGO in Nagaland has been working exclusively for prison reforms where 12 inmates benefited from medical counselling and 16 from legal counselling.
Contradicting the NCRB report, the Director General of Prison, Toshitsungba Aier (IPS) informed Eastern Mirror that many NGOs from the state have been working for prison reforms.
As per the report, as many as 12 programmes were provided under the rehabilitation and welfare schemes among prisoners in the country. Among the many schemes, Nagaland has been actively involved in various activities as mentioned above.
Nagaland and Assam were the only two states from the Northeast that were active in various activities.