As part of its welfare programmes for jail inmates,the state government has decided to reduce jail terms on a priority basis for the prisoners who opt for graduate,post-graduate or any courses for vocational and professional skill development.
States minister for prisons Dilip Sanghani told reporters on Tuesday this was an attempt to help prisoners rehabilitate better. Those who opt for graduate and post-graduate courses or for vocational courses in computers,construction,beauty parlour training etc. will be given priority when we release prisoners on important national days, the minister said.
In a first of its kind,the Sabarmati Central jail in Ahmedabad recently hosted a convocation inside its premises where Safdar Nagori,an alleged SIMI leader accused of role in serial blasts,and suspended IPS officer DG Vanzara,who is a prime accused in Sohrabuddin encounter case,were among those who received PG diplomas in value education under Annamalai Universitys distant learning programme.
Sanghani said the criteria of release of prisoners under this new scheme would be decided and announced next month. The scheme will also find an allocation in the forthcoming budget,he said.
In 2010,244 prisoners received degrees from open universities like IGNOU in various courses. In 2011,a total of 3,794 prisoners opted for various degree and vocational courses.
Meanwhile,the state government has also turned its focus on education and skill development among women prisoners. In the last two years,189 of them have been trained in different vocations.
The government also plans to train prisoners in music to launch their own band. There is a huge demand for police band. So,we have decided to train prisoners with the police band and start a prisoners band. Our focus is skill development so that when inmates go out,they can find employment easily, Sanghani said.