As part of the Punjab government’s mission to transform the lives of jail inmates and enable them to join the mainstream as reformed convicts, the department of jails is planning to construct classrooms with a capacity of 50 people in each jail to provide a learning environment for prisoners.
Punjab Jails Minister Harjot Singh Bains said proposal to consider such inmates for remission, who will get education in jail, was also under consideration.
Initially, two to three classrooms of capacity of 50 students in each jail will be constructed and if more rooms are needed in the future, suitable space will be identified for them. The facility of libraries is also being expanded in prisons. The idea is to inculcate a habit of learning and education and to provide them an opportunity to utilise their time in prison in a productive manner, the minister said.
Bains said that the AAP government was committed to making Punjab crime-free. Therefore, many schemes, including creating an educational atmosphere in prisons, have been initiated in prisons.
He said that currently, the jail inmates have been categorised as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ on the basis of their educational qualification. A total of 271 prisoners of category A are nearly illiterate, who are being taught to read and write under SCERT programme of Punjab government while category-B inmates, eligible and interested in appearing in 10th/12th class board examination, are enrolled with National Institute of Open School and currently 75 inmates have been enrolled in this category.
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Similarly, category-C comprises 49 those inmates, who have done their 12th class and are motivated to undergo graduation courses in various disciplines offered by Jagat Guru Nanak State Open University, Patiala. The inmates are also given the opportunity to enroll in other reputed universities such as IGNOU for graduating in disciplines of their choice.