Govt Proposes To Introduce Jail Reforms Soon
state government proposes to bring in jail reforms and is contemplating sending
people convicted for petty crimes to community service like cleaning of railway
coaches, stations, gardening work in schools, etc. It would introduce a bill in
the monsoon session of the assembly to amend the Act.
Talking to media after the first meeting of the prisonersí development board
chaired by chief minister K Rosaiah, home minister Sabita Indra Reddy said
Andhra Pradesh would become the first state in the country to have a law where
people convicted for the first time for petty offences would not be sent to jail
but instead would be asked to do community service.
It also proposes to introduce the concept of private public partnership (PPP)
and encourage industries to set up units to make such products as steel
furniture, chalk pieces, soaps and tailoring, dyeing and printing units in
central jails on an experimental basis. These industries would train the
convicts in various trades and the products would be marketed by those companies
under their brand name.
The minister said there are 1300 jails in the state of which 7 are central
jails, 11 district jails, two womenís jails, two open jails and 105 sub jails.
The meeting also decided to increase the wages paid to the convicts from
present Rs 10, Rs 15, and Rs 20 depending upon the category of the jail to Rs
30, Rs 50 and Rs 70 respectively. Of this one third amount would be given to the
family of the victims involved in cases relating to the convicts. Similarly, it
is proposed to give powers to jail superintendents to accord permission for the
convicts to attend emergencies like funeral of a family member.
Since the jail department does not have a building of its own, it has been
decided to allocate Rs 25 crore for construction of a new building. Similarly, a
special ward for convicts in Gandhi Hospital in the city is also being
contemplated, according to the minister.