Social Work: Correctional Admin

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PROBLEM IN CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATION IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION The Union of India is a Federal Polity consisting of 28 States and 7 Union Territories directly administered by the Union Government. Under this federal system the States have their own Governments, and Legislatures, with powers and functions which are clearly defined under a written Constitution. Under such devolution of executive and legislative power the State Governments manage education, health-care, policing and prisons within their jurisdiction among many other functions. We are a large nation with a large population, which includes in large numbers of the followers of every major religion in the world. According to the population census conducted by the Union Government in the year 2001, our population crossed the one billion mark. This huge population includes 824 million Hindus (82.41%), 116 million Muslims (11.67%), 23 million Christians (2.32%) and 20 million Sikhs (2.0%). In India over one million criminal cases are reported every year. such annual incidence of crime in the country necessitates the existence of a huge network of prisons and other institutions of correctional administration, even when in our country the number of prison inmates per million of population is one of the lowest in the world. We have in our country a total of 1119 prisons of different categories and sizes, with an authorised inmate capacity of 2, 29,713. Under the Seventh Schedule to Constitution of India, prisons are managed and governed by State Governments and Governments of Union Territories. The Governments of the States and Union Territories have the last word in all matters relating to prevention and detection of crime, trial and sentencing of offenders, and the custody of criminals in prisons. The State Governments have the powers to make rules and regulations for administration and management of prisons and correctional institutions. UNDERLYING IDEA OF CUSTODY OF PRISONERS

The prisons in India are not considered a house for incarceration to deter criminal behaviour. On the subject of crime Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation, had once said “Crime is outcome of a diseased mind and jail must have an environment of a hospital for treatment”. We firmly believe in this principle and, during the last 56 years, we have tried to convert our prisons into the correctional institutions. The main goal of prison administration in India, today is to develop a sense of discipline and security among prisoners, and to reform and rehabilitate them in the given social milieu through appropriate correctional interventions. We also aim to equip the prisoners with such skills and abilities as will help them to lead a normal life as a citizen, once they are let out of prisons. We share a universally held view that sentence of imprisonment would be justifiable only if it ultimately leads to protection of society against crime. Such a goal could be achieved only if incarceration motivates and prepares the offender for a law-abiding and self-supporting life after his release. It further accepts that, as imprisonment deprives the offender of his liberty and self-determination, the prison system should not be allowed to aggravate the suffering already inherited in the process of incarceration. Thus, while certain category of offenders, who endanger public safety, have to be segregated from the social mainstream by way of imprisonment; all possible efforts have to be made to ensure that they come out of prisons as better individuals than what they were at the time of their admission thereto. TYPES OF PRISONS

The 1119 prisons of different types in the country include 98 Central Prisons, 266 District Prisons, 671 Sub Prisons, 21 Open Prisons, 13 exclusive prisons for Women Prisoners, 12 Brostal Schools, 25 Special Prisons and 9 Juvenile Camps. While the central...
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