Custody, care and treatment are the, three main functions of a modern prison organization. For over 100 years, there was emphasis on custody which, it was believed, depended on good order and discipline. The notion of prison discipline was to make imprisonment deterrent. Gradually, the objective of imprisonment changed from mere deterrence to deterrence and reformation.
Crime is the outcome of a diseased mind and jail must have an environment of hospital for treatment and care.
- Mahatma Gandhi
A prison, jail or correctional facility is a place in which individuals are physically confined or detained and usually deprived of a range of personal freedom. These institutions are an integral part of the criminal justice system of a country. There are various types of prisons such as those exclusively for adults, children, female, convicted prisoners, under-trial detainees and separate facilities for mentally ill offenders.
Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal punishment that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime or disobeying its rule. The objective of imprisonment varies in different countries and may be: a) punitive, b) deterrence, and c) rehabilitative and reformative. The primary purpose and justification of imprisonment is to protect society against crime and retribution. In current thinking, punitive methods of treatment of prisoners alone are neither relevant nor desirable to achieve the goal of reformation and rehabilitation of prison inmates. The concept of Correction, Reformation and Rehabilitation has come to the foreground and the prison administration is now expected to function in a curative and correctional manner. Human rights approaches and human rights legislations have facilitated a change in the approaches of correctional systems, and they have evolved from being reactive to proactively safeguarding prisoners‟ rights.
One of the best tenets of human rights