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Life-term prisoners to get 4 hrs for recreation in Bengal's correction homes

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 14 April 2017, 19:56 IST

Life-term prisoners in West Bengal now finally have something to look forward to. The state government has taken a decision to give these prisoners four hours of leave every day so as they can work around the campus of the correctional facility.

The inmates can use these hours to work in the fields near the facility, help in gardening inside the campus. They will also be allowed to roam around the campus for recreation purposes and engage with other inmates.

This decision will apply to those in the state-run correctional homes in Dum Dum, Murshidabad and Midnapore and comes after 38 years of deliberation about security issues involved in letting inmates work in and around the campus.

The Prisons Act of 1894 has a provision that allows lifers to work outside the correctional facility, but it has not been followed in the state-run institutions, said senior government officials. There is already a provision in place for lifers to get daily wages for the work they do.

Government officials also said that the number of security guards in the three correctional homes has been increased. 300 additional guards were deployed in the facilities over the last three months.

ADG prison Arun Kumar Gupta said, “We are taking all necessary steps so that inmates can be inducted in to the mainstream. Depression is quite common amongst life-term prisoners and to make things better for them, such an initiative has been taken.”

According to statistics provided by the Bengal government, around 40% of the inmates across the three correctional homes suffer from acute depression. And despite being engaged with work inside the homes, depression has remained an over-arching issue for the lifers.

“After consulting a psychologist we have decided to give them a scope for recreation so that they can spend their time leisurely outside the correctional home. This will improve their work skill and consequently, they can lead a healthy life inside,”added Gupta.

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 14 April 2017, 16:14 IST