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State plans to use convicts’ wages to aid victims

The state government is preparing a scheme to financially assist victims of crime by deducting a portion of the wages earned by the convicts serving prison terms in state correctional homes.

The state government is preparing a scheme to financially assist victims of crime by deducting a portion of the wages earned by the convicts serving prison terms in state correctional homes.

Such a scheme is already operational at Tihar Jail,according to sources at the state correctional administration department which is preparing the West Bengal Victim Relief Scheme,2012.

It has been planned that 10 per cent of the wage earned by the convicts will be deducted to set up a victim relief fund. The scheme will be vetted by the law department before being implemented.

To monitor the fund,a four-member committee headed by Inspector General (Prison) and represented by Kolkata Police,West Bengal Police,department of correctional administration officials will be set up. An official of the judicial department not below the rank of joint secretary will be the member of the fund management committee. Quarterly meetings of the committee will be held to monitor the fund.

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The committee monitoring the fund will decide who gets monetary assistance. Apart from this,the committee will get the fund audited every year. The annual activity calendar of fund management will be prepared and a guideline for utilisation of West Bengal Victim Relief Fund 2012 will be formulated soon,sources said.

According to department officials,a similar scheme is operational at Tihar Jail,where 25 per cent of wages earned by convicts is deducted and deposited in the victim relief fund. The fund is used to financially assist families of victims of crime.

“Though the convicts at Tihar jail pay 25 per cent of their wage to the victim relief fund,we have decided to deduct only 10 per since prisoners’ wages in West Bengal are very little. In West Bengal,a skilled prisoner earns Rs 40 a day while semi-skilled and unskilled prisoners get Rs 35 and Rs 30 a day,” a department official told The Indian Express. The wage is paid to only those who are sentenced to rigorous imprisonment.

First published on: 29-06-2012 at 05:11 IST
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